I was always bullied as a kid. My best friend said that I was bullied because I was kind. At some point though, being bullied turned me into a bully to others. I would bully weaker kids, especially my sisters.
The angry and vengeful always take it out on the kind. It is not dangerous to be one who seeks power, but one who seeks peace, because you are taking on the powerful and violent. The powerful and violent are that way because they are weak. It takes strength and faith to be kind, to be generous to do more with less, to seek trust, to hold your word, to meet failure and difficulty, and to keep going with trust and goodness in your heart.
These are the qualities that America has lost faith in, these are the things that we teach our kids but do not believe in. Our films and cartoons show that we value revenge, strength, violence in face of violence. We love a good guy, killing the bad guy. We love a bad guy, that is killing the worse guy.
We instinctively feel that the kind are often harmed by the violent, that they are defenseless against the angry. We feel that we require, violence and strength to protect the kind. We think kindness is a weakness. This is why we need soldiers and police to protect them. But the soldiers and police, are rarely kind. They are selected for anger and vengeance, for violence. We arm them with the expectation that they will use that violence against the violent. But the violent find kingship with the violent. The violent are violent because they fear kindness.
They fear kindness because they don’t believe in it, they fear being attacked they fear not being in control, they fear that being kind will not work for them, because it won’t prevent them from facing or protecting them from violence. But violence is inescapable. To be violent is to initiate it, to be in control of it, but it is also to be a part of it. To be kind is to give up control of the violent, but to have control over self. To be kind is to be compassionate to the violent. It is not to allow violence, but it is to not initiate it. To be kind is to overcome it like a buoy in the waves, to let it pass over you, to understand that violence happens, and to not meet the wave with force or crash into it but to let it go over you, and keep going towards the beaches and the cliffs to crash on to.
At some point, whether through master of Kung Fu, or Wrestling or just learning to be a better friend, I learned to protect myself, to respect myself, to love myself. I learned to feel that I am in control of myself, did I stop being a bully. I was bullied at first because I was kind. I became a bully because I found kindness to be a weakness. But it was my lack of strength that made it difficult for me to be kind. It was gaining strength that made me kind again. It was kindness that made me put less anger in the world, to help people become stronger, so that they may also be kind.