Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some Thoughts On Bullies and The Other

First of all, read this. All the way through. I advise finding a box of Kleenex before you do.

Then read his follow-up post, here.

I will post some of my own story soon, but I need to find a place of balance from which to post it. For now, let me offer a couple thoughts.

That second post is what I've been trying to get at with some of my previous reflections here and at Vox Nova: it is when we make someone an Other that we begin the descent into sin and barbarism. I had some particularly harrowing childhood experiences with bullies, involving (this is no exaggeration) literal torture. But looking back, the most difficult part of it was that as I was being tortured, I could feel the incredible, agonizing pain emanating from every pore of the ones inflicting torments upon me. As I suffered my own pains, I also felt theirs in a profound way. I empathized with their pain even as I suffered. I could see how sad, how desolate, the world must have looked through their eyes.

This was indescribably painful; it was also what saved me.

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