Appalling, just appalling! Once again bullying has resulted in tragedy, causing 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick of Lakeland, Florida to end her own life. I was furious to read that as many as 15 young persons savagely taunted her for months, finally resulting in this horrible and so unnecessary event. My heart goes out to her family and friends.
I am impelled to tell your readers what every parent, educator, everyone all over America need to know: bullying can end! because its cause has been understood. Eli Siegel, founder of the education Aesthetic Realism, explained what causes all human injustice, including the thrill and pleasure of bullying. It is contempt—the “disposition in every person to think he will be for himself by making less of the outside world.” What impelled those barbaric texts and merciless postings on Facebook left for Rebecca was the feeling: If I can make this person wretched, put her in her place, make what she feels into nothing at all, I’m Somebody! While not always having such a hideous outcome, contempt is so ordinary—it is in each of us and causes much of the world’s social, economic, and personal misery.
Only when the way contempt works in us—from its everydayness to its extremes—is studied, understood, and criticized will America be a kinder and safer land.
New York, NY