This week my wife took the triplets with a friend to a soft-play centre. Whilst the babies were happily playing, a young boy aged around six leant over and yanked Blakely’s arm. My wife told him sternly to go away. A few moments later the little boy returned and punched Blakely in the face. A six-year-old boy punched one of my babies in the face leaving a mark!
My wife promptly took the boy to his Dad and told him what had happened, he was led outside and shouted at. A few minutes later he came back over with his son and told him to apologise, which he did, in a cocky manner. The boy then asked his Dad if they were still going to Mc Donalds and they left.
It has played on my mind since it happened. My first response when my wife relayed me the story when I got home from work was shock. Followed by rising anger and the thoughts of what I would like to have done to the boy, and what I would have said to his father. The anger I felt is the response every bully looks for, a transference of the anger they carry themselves. It’s like a spreading infection.
I saw that anger ripple out as I told friends and family of what happened to Blakely. And It made me realise again the damaging futility of harbouring resentment towards others.
Once I had processed the events I felt only forgiveness and concern for the boy. There is a tormenting spirit inside every bully, no matter how big or small they are. They have separated somewhere along the way from their natural discernment of what Is right and wrong. No one is born a bully. They are almost always tormented themselves. To allow yourself to become angry at the actions of a bully is to give them exactly what they want, the spread of internal dysfunction. To see others suffer as they are.
To forgive is not to hate. It doesn’t mean condoning a situation like the one little Blakely experienced, or does it mean sitting back and doing nothing about those who torment us. It takes courage to stand up to bullies in the world and not to resent the anger we see in them. And one day I will show my girls a way to defend themselves. And more importantly – how to forgive.
As for the little boy who punched Blakely, I hope he finds some Fatherly guidance before his life becomes one of only trouble and chaos.