A month old, yet not the least bit old.
A Path Will Rise to Meet Us
Dec 17, 2021
The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating.
– Mohandas K. Gandhi
I once read an account of bullying in rural America in the early 20th century. The narrator said, “If a victim did not stand up to them, there was no limit to how far the bullies would go.” He described them tying another child to the train tracks as a train approached (on the parallel track). There was no appeasing the bullies. Each capitulation only whetted their appetite for new and crueler humiliations.
The psychology of bullies is well understood: compensation for a loss of power, reenactment of trauma with roles reversed, and so forth. Beyond all that, though, the Bully archetype draws from another source. On some unconscious level, what the bully wants is for the victim to cease being a victim and to stand up to him. That is why submission does not appease a bully, but only invites further torment.
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