I find it fascinating that bullion means “gold” . Supposedly, the Anglo-French built a word family around boiling, skimming, and trimming. The next two terms in my digitized Collins Dictionary are “Bull-ous” and it means “blistered
And then there is the word “bully”.
If you need context about any word, a worthy dictionary often includes basic knowledge about a word’s country of origin it’s related language sisters and brothers. When I was an undergrad, it was really important to know how words were built. Every language builds words a bit differently.
Still, I knew the word bully meant long before I looked it up.
In case you’re wondering…
A bully is a person who hurts, routinely bothers, threatens, and weakens someone else. I never needed to go to school even to know what a bully was.
So maybe a bully is the golden boiling down of a weaker being’s essence. Yes, a bully is a blistering heat striker in the poetic sense.
My first bully was often an elder. Usually, it was an arrogant person who gave me an order. And because I did not always feel worthy enough to be curious, I complied most urgently.
Many elders of the (old-school), men and women that grew up in the 40s, 50s, 60s and before, were products of bullying. If you were lucky enough not to have terribly rough parents, you had rough neighborhoods to harden your resolve..
My point is: intimidation got results.
My adolescent years are filled with memories of adults saying: “If I have to tell you one more time…”
There were clauses like:
“I’ll beat the black off of you…
Man, I’ll punch you
I’ll slap you
Don’t be a wimp, or a girl. Be a man.
When you’re a boy growing into a man. Men learn early or hallmark job is to dominate or subdue.
Men are either at the seat of honor…. Or we’re pawns in a cycle of generational abuse that we’ve been taught to emulate.
Paul’s Roman letter talks about confession and how confession is part of salvation.
Have you ever read the 10th chapter of Romans slowly and really thought about what it means?
Somewhere about the 9th or 12 verse… you’ll come to faith comes by hearing.
I’ll always believe that we believe what we hear about ourselves from others, more frequently than we believe other facts about us that have never been said.
There is power in confession.
So if a person is surrounded by bullies for many years, the trauma from years of threats, cut-downs, assaults, and wars will be difficult to overcome without the proper support.
When your a person of faith and spirituality, you’re often bombarded with message of how positive and abundant faith is supposed to be. But there are two or three sides to every developing story. And bullying is a persistent reminder that evil is always just as present as good.
A bully is good at making sure a low or more sensitive person develops “a bad hope”.
Your brain is “programmable”. And bullies that are threatened by your unique abilities will find a way to produce content and shows with your shy or sensitive mind frame that tell you that your talents are useless except in the frame that works best for your “bully”.
It’s as if you’re the golden ticket, and your bully is Wonka telling you that you’re denied access unless __________ or _________ happens.
As a disabled man, I am constantly changing my mental programming to match my growth potential. I noticed that within the last several months. I have edited down the amount of television I watch. Because the stories on most network television shows are not matching the level of curiosity that I have about the world around me.
This is what I mean by changing your program. A bully is set on the weaker person’s shame.
The “stronger” bully will use a subversive program to get you away from the things that drive your mental and spiritual growth.
Recently, I have been keeping track of the (hate speech) that I’ve thrown at people. I notice that when I heard programming—-music, stories, films, and other media—that lacked purpose and insight, I was more likely to bully myself and my neighbors with negative talk.
For me, when I did not spend time evaluating the purpose, intent, and emotions of my routines and choice-points, I would fight to dominate the conversations, stories, and tastes of other people.
And men are socialized into being bullies because we see it in very small ways across a vast amount of platforms everyday in contemporary media.
Recently, I have scratched the surface about how I became the very bully that I was fighting hard to avoid.
Because I was constantly sharing space with men and women who were “bull-ish” and aggressive in the leadership styles, I once believed I had to be like they were to achieve my own version of success.
It is terribly important to ask ourselves about our self-talk. We must ask ourselves about the conversations we allow ourselves to participate in. We must be aware of what happens internally and emotional when we allow a bully into our cone of influence.
A bully is subtle. A bully will not always appear to be harmful. A bully is not always identified by success. Sometimes bullies are “golden”, a rock caught in the cog of progress.
I am a man who used to bully people with my words because I got bullied. It’s a fact.
I would judge others more than I listened. I would be so motivated by self-interest that I could not account for the times when I shut authentic support out.
The flattering person can very well be a bully in disguise. In my reconnection with own introversion, I am learning the subtle pitfalls of bad actors.
Sometimes bullion is a rock painted gold.