There were fourteen students in attendance. Two of us were guys, the rest were women. Interesting, to me, is that six of the twelve women were "mature" African-American women.
I was blessed to be able to sit at a table with three of those "mature adults".
The front two tables were mostly college kids. There were two people who were still in high school and had involvement in church ministry. The table behind us had a couple of domestic abuse counselors and the owner of an after-school activities center.
The one topic that really lit up the room was a discussion about bullies.
One of the young ladies opined that the best way to handle bullies is to ignore them.
The more experienced women challenged that statement.
The young lady drew herself up....and dug her hole deeper. She defended her position based on her vast, first-hand experience with bullying.
She had been the victim of a bully earlier in life. Her mom advised her to take the high road. The bully eventually grew bored and moved on to another victim.
At that point, the older women told her that she had simply been lucky. They went on to describe how "bullying" is a gate-way behavior for a host of other, less savory behaviors.
Xavier discusses some of those behaviors, and how "out-of-bounds" behavior is a test to find compliant victims. Xavier explains it better than I can.
A short excerpt:
The criminal, once he has observed a potential victim, will send out some test runs to determine if the person is indeed prey, or predator. These tests may be asking for a match, the time, or change. The initial tests all have one thing in common. They violate boundaries, and determine if the selected person will allow their space and generosity to be violated...All of these persons are easily recognized by their inappropriate behavior and boundary violations. Like the fish who fails to recognize the moray eel on the reef, the person who fumbles...has sealed their fate. The ruses are many and varied.
The different perceptions of bullying may have been a cultural thing. I think the older women were far more worldly. I think the young lady had been the victim of a puppy playing at being a predator. The best time to train a dog, though, is while it is young.
Too bad that puppy learned that there are "freebies".