There are all kinds of personalities operating in the world today.
There are the “weird” outliers who enjoy collecting odd, unusual items off of Ebay.
There are the “bosses” and the “employees.”
There are even the “nice” “normal” people who turn on their television and fall asleep in front of the Tonight Show and reality TV after putting in a hard day at work.
Then there are the people who are never talked about or mentioned.
These people are the ones who don’t get along well with other folks.
These are the people who don’t have multi-million dollar executive bonuses that serve to hide their evil ways.
These are the people who spam your inbox and send you unwanted junk mail through what’s left of the mail system.
We used to call these people “flim-flam” men (although they were also sometimes women) and matchstick men (from which the film takes its name).
There is also a more common name for them, which everyone uses now, particularly in the workplace and in the school system:
We all know the conventional wisdom about bullies:
Bullies are dangerous.
Bullies are angry.
Bullies are socially inept.
Bullies are misunderstood.
Bullies are just victims of other bullies.
Bullies are people who have to be taught that “that kind of behavior” is “unacceptable.”
Bullies have to pay the rent.
Bullies are going to continue to have children.
Bullies are going to drive cars and go to nice restaurants.Bullies vote in elections.
So the question becomes, in a world where the outlier is ever more trumpeted and celebrated and the weird is the new “normal,” how do we as a society give bullies jobs?
How do we co-opt and enfranchise bullies?
Not bullying behavior, that’s enough of a problem in and of itself, but how do we get a bully a job that will allow them to progressively be transformed into someone that is compliant, complacent and cooperative?
As you ponder this question, take this parallel into consideration:
Jerry Sandusky is widely considered to be a monster.He molested and took advantage of the system in which he was ensconced for almost 40+ years to steal innocence and trust from children and young adults. The English Tops of the Pops host, Jimmy Savile did the exact same thing in the exact same way.
However, while Jimmy is dead, Jerry is very much alive and buried in a prison where we as a society would like to forget him.But, someone is going to have to go into that cell with Jerry to talk with him, examine him and take him apart, so that his crimes against children can never take place again and so that we can ID predators early and do what we can to stop them before they become what they will ultimately be.
And that’s the parallel.
We will have to give bullies jobs in a world of niches and the “weird” so that we can gradually, societally, say, with some confidence that “Bullying doesn’t happen here.”
Originally published on July 30, 2013.Download the FREE E-Book, The Savvy Peace Builder by heading to http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com/e-book-the-savvy-peace-builder/ today!