In my last post I tallked about social influence, and how conformity, obedience and peer pressure are strong motivators for people living in Shouldland. I am constantly amazed at how many people believe in the rule of authority. They believe in a hierarchical system where people have control over others and have trouble with a flat, consultative, system of management.
They believe that the hierarchical system is how things should be. With a supreme ruler at the top, a few less powerful rulers underneath, with several more layers of power all the way down to the minions at the bottom, blindly following instructions. We, as a society, need to move on from this: in our families, our workplaces, and in our systems of government.
Bullies believe in the rule of authority too. The people who believe in authority are usually the bullies, at least to some degree. They are easily bullied and they like to bully. Bullies believe in Shouldland … but that isn’t to say that everyone who lives in Shouldland is a bully.
There is a continuum of bullying behaviour. Life isn’t just bullies v non-bullies, as many in education and the media would have you think. This is the great failure of anti-bullying programs in schools and workplaces. It doesn’t recognise bullying as a continuum:
Victims ————————————————————-Full on Bullies
People in Shouldland, those who believe in the old fashioned rule of authority, are on this continuum. The trick in life, the key to genuine happiness and empowerment, is to not live on this continuum, but to live outside it. This is a pretty rare quality in people. Both children and adults need to learn to live outside the continuum; by dispensing with the rule of authority from their life.
Unfortunately, many teachers also believe in the rule of authority and live on this continuum, albeit usually more on the left hand side. So when they try to teach anti-bullying programs at school, they havent reflected on their own bullying and victim behaviours, and the message comes across as disingenuous.