Kyle and Eli were each doing their homework. I was sitting next to them. Somehow our conversation led us here:
Me: “What do you guys think of bullies and bullying?”
Kyle: “Don’t do it. It is mean. And you know you have a good friend if they will stick up for you.”
Me: “What are bullies like?”
Kyle: “Bullies are liked the little deformed guppy (I have no idea what he means by this). They are always mean to you just because they are.”
Eli: “If you win something that you can share, then all of a sudden the bully will be really nice to you because they want what you have.”
Eli continued to tell me that bullies are people who are not your friends and that they are only nice to you if you are good at sports. Really and more specifically, they are only nice to you when you are playing the sports you are good at, you can make them look even better by helping them win.
“Son. You have figured out humanity. Really. You have.” I responded and then thought to myself because what I was thinking was way too cynical to fill the head of a ten year old boy, “Make people feel good about themselves. Of course the kid only likes you at sports. Thank God you are good at sports or your life would really suck. You help him look better because it is all about him winning. Yes and tell him how awesome he is. Then he will always pick you on his team and because he always picks you, the other kids will eventually see that you are cool too. Oh and ignore others who are being hurt by him. You do want to get into that mess. It will only draw unneeded attention to yourself. Be a Sycophant! Most importantly, only tell the bully what he wants to hear.”