Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! We've got a great line-up for you in this episode as we talk about racism, and its more general ancestor – bullying. Racism is just one of the hot-button social issues that plagues our society. The cause and effects are deeply rooted into our society, but that doesn't make them untouchable. In fact, it makes them even more tangible.

In This Episode

  • Welcome to CJ Thunder (aka Carl)!
  • Super secret hot cocoa recipe…
  • Racism: what are it's roots?
  • Experiences with bullying.
  • How do we fight bullying?
  • Chewbacca joins the conversation
  • More from Lee Stephen, including comments on adversity, advice for aspiring writers, and some big truth bombs.

Bullying

The famous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt oft comes to mind when talking about adversity and bullying: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Also the old adage: “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Quotes and sayings, like these ones, might encourage us to take the power away from a bully, but they do little to acknowledge the fact that bullying does hurt.

Brian and Carl face the issue of racism with compassion. Words matter because we wield them in very specific ways in order to illicit a range of emotions from other people. We use them to manipulate, to incite fear, to wound. We use them to make someone fall in love with us, to tell someone how much we care, or to communicate difficult news in a delicate way. The conversation in this podcast addresses the fact that the people wielding words for evil purposes may, in fact, be hurting themselves. Instead of fighting fire with fire, fight back with an attitude of how you wish the other person had treated you.

Adversity

We face adversity when bullied. Whatever brand of bullying you've received, whether it is racism, like Carl, or discrimination, like Brian, that period of suffering is actually called adversity. My dad always used to say that our character is revealed the most when we are under adversity, because it's only when we're under pressure that we're truly challenged with wielding the tools most intrinsically important to human life.

I've been learning a lot about compassion in the last couple months, learning how to see suffering in others and find the patience to listen and hear the struggle they face. But compassion is about so much more than acknowledgement and patience, it's about the endurance of those qualities. Compassion feels to me to be the intrinsic opposite of bullying and, as such, the greatest weapon that can be wielded.

If adversity comes from times of struggle, and let's specifically target bullying since that is the topic of discussion here, the opposing force of struggle is peace or surrender. Carl made a great point about hitting a bully with kindness, in that showing a bully that you are unperturbed by their attack makes them more likely to back down. Retaliating with hurtful words or a punch to the face reinforces the attack from the bully, inciting the very response they want. They want to cause pain, because seeing others in pain is the fastest way to feel less of one's own.

Links

The banner image for this episode is taken from Howard Center, an organization that desires to enrich the lives of those in need.

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