Sunday, January 1, 2017

Today's MOZEN: Dealing with a Bully

F LoBuono
When I was a kid, I was painfully thin. Well, it might be more accurate to say that I was downright skinny. And, I hated it. As I have written previously, virtually all of my role models were macho men. My father and all of my uncles were combat veterans. My sports heroes were usually the biggest and the baddest of the bunch. Naturally, I wanted to be like them. But, I was so damned frail! To compensate, I participated in every tough or violent activity I could. I played football. I wrestled. I boxed. And, I lifted weights to try to get bigger and more muscular. Nothing seemed to really work.

But, I was strong and tough - tough as nails, as a matter of fact. Where I grew up, and with the situations I put myself in, I had to be. If I wasn't, I might not have survived. The bullies were merciless. And, I hated to be picked on. I just wasn't going to take any shit from ANYONE. So much so, that I think that I must have gotten into some kind of a fight just about every single week of my youth. And, I don't think that I won any of them. I'm not THAT tough.

But, winning the fight was not that important. Standing up for myself WAS. This I was taught by my parents - both of them. My father would explain to me what he had learned when he was in the Service. It starts with respect - for yourself and for then others.

NEVER let anyone put their hands on you.

FORBID anyone to insult you or your family.

DEMAND the same respect for yourself that you give to others.

ALWAYS walk away from a fight if you can, but never lose face in doing so.

If these criteria are not met, be prepared to fight back - even against a physically superior foe.

And, I did - no matter the consequence.

I would come home from one of these encounters battered, bruised, and, often, crying. My mother would greet me at the door and say, "Frankie, what happened? Are you OK? Did someone hurt you"? She would dust me off, dry my tears, check to make sure that I wasn't seriously hurt and then ask, "do you want to talk about what happened"? And, I always did. I would explain that someone had made fun of me until I just couldn't take it anymore and I just HAD to fight back. Usually, he was bigger, stronger, and older so my chances of winning that fight were slim and none. But, I didn't care. Stella would always chide me to not get into so many scraps while at the same time supporting the fact that I was standing up for myself and what I believed was worth fighting for.

Therefore, it's safe to say I KNOW a bully when I see one and how to deal with him.

President-elect Donald Trump is a BULLY of the highest (or, lowest) order: an insolent, intolerant one with money. In other words, he has all of the abhorrent traits of an "ordinary" bully with the resources of a multi-millionaire. So, he doesn't even have to do the dirty work himself. He can pay others to do it for him. And, he does.

Well, I'll deal him like I have with all the bullies that I have encounter in my life: I'm not going to take his shit and I'm going to fight back in every way that I can - not with my fists but by having a voice and using it to defy him in every way possible. From my experience, the more you oppose one, the less likely they are to come after you. When I was a kid, I fought back so often, even after getting my ass kicked time after time, that the bullies simply stopped from shear exhaustion! They would say, "leave him alone. I'm tired of beating the crap out of him". Let it be the same with Mr. Trump.

I am not afraid.

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