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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bullying and Hate

Those who cannot do teach.  Those who cannot teach, teach gym. – Woody Allen

Once upon a time, there was a boy in his first year in high school.  He was in gym class and some older boys decided to play a trick on him.  One of the older boys grabbed the younger boys arms behind his back and tried to throw him in the mud.  The younger boy struggled to get out of the older boys grasp.  When he did, the older boys laughed at their friend, so the older boy hit the younger boy in the face and screamed, “What, you hit me in the balls?”  The younger boy yelled back, “How could I hit you in the balls, you had my hands behind my back!”

Later, the younger boy went to his evil gym teacher.  The younger boy said, “Hey (name here) keep your goons off me!”  To which the evil gym teacher said, “I didn’t see anything.”  The younger boy knew the evil gym teacher was lying, because the entire class turned around to see what all the yelling was about.

Have you been following the Sayreville high school football team story?  For those of you who haven’t, seven football players on the team have been arrested for allegedly hazing the freshman on the team.  Okay, I get hazing to a point…buying all the kids on the team donuts, or having to sing the school song, or something like that.  This, however, went over the line.  Way over.  Allegedly, these older boys would pin the freshman players down, in the locker room, in the dark, and shove their fingers into the boys’ rectums, and then put their fingers in the boys’ mouths.

In response, the school superintendent cancelled the rest of the season.  And the response?  Perhaps even more sickening than the actual act was the reaction of some of the parents.  “My boy wasn’t involved and he’s being punished.  He’s the victim!”


A few weeks ago, I was at Mohegan Sun playing in a poker tournament.  The conversation at the table turned to politics and the lady who sat next to me said, “I hate Obama.  I think he hates this country.”  I replied, “Well, I don’t think he is a particularly good President, but I certainly don’t think he hates this country.”  Her response?  “I’m telling you, he HATES this country, and that’s ALL THERE IS TO IT.”

There sure are a lot of hate filled people in this world. 

Just in the last few weeks, there have been stories about people in Texas riding with urine in their car and then throwing it on people.  Stories about people who put a kitten in a clothes dryer so they could watch the cat tumble in it.  Stories about how an adult at the Grand Canyon enticed a squirrel with some food, and then kicked the squirrel over the edge of the canyon.  Stories about a teacher who had a 15 year old sophomore break her rules by chewing gum in class, so the entire class, at the teacher’s insistence, threw Koosh balls at her.  I mean, why don’t you just stone her?

Oh, I forgot.  Everything bad that’s ever happened in the world is President Obama’s fault.  Oh, I mean President Bush’s fault.  Oh, I mean President Clinton’s fault.  Oh, I mean President Reagan’s fault.  Oh, I mean…

Many people think that people are inherently evil and hate filled.  I disagree.  Sure, there are some people who are just bad apples, but I continue to believe…I have to believe…I must believe…that people are inherently good.  You just have to remind kids all the time about the difference between good decisions and bad decisions. 

So to any parents out there who may read this, I once again beg you to sit down with your kids and talk to them about bullying.  About sticking up for those who are weaker.  About making the right decisions, and not giving in to peer pressure.

Many years later, the younger boy married a wonderful girl, found a well paying job, and is well liked by his friends.  And from what I hear…he’ll be cooking gluten-free turkey picatta tonight.

The End?