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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Partner's Progeny and What About Bullying?

         Shelly Arkon blogs at The Life of a Novice Writer.   She's currently looking forward to an ebook release in the near future and is sharing a first look at the cover along with a hint of what the story is all about.

          Here is a preview of Shelly Arkon's The Partner's Progeny:

Bullies rule … or do they?

For seventeen years, Victoria Sheek has been a paralegal surpervisor at the Law Offices of Pereene, Carr, and Sevino, specializing in injury law. Rumors portray her as a bully. She remains confident that her position will never cease because of close relations to one of the founding partners, Mr. Carr.

Until Mr. Pereene, the head partner, hires Monica Bowman. Smitten with her because of her resemblance to his deceases granddaughter, Melissa, and his memories of her, she can do no wrong.

Which one of the two girls will keep their position at the firm? It takes and unexpected event to decide the outcome of this rivalry.

Shelly’s Bio

Shelly Arkon is the author of Secondhand Shoes

 When Shelly isn’t doing the laundry, cleaning, cooking, chasing grandkids, listening to daughter drama (five of them), or lopping heads of hair at the salon, she’s writing beside her two fur-peeps, Sir Poops and Hair Ball, popping an occasional chocolate while her hubby is flipping through TV channels.

She lives in New Port Richey with her husband and two dogs. She’s also a member of Florida Writer’s Association and Writer’s of Mass Distraction.

What About Bullies?

      Since Shelly brought of the topic of bullying, let me continue with a matter of controversy tied to my ongoing series about violence, gun control, and related issues.  If you're interested in seeing what controversial topics have been offered so far you can go back to the beginning and follow on from there on most Monday posts.  

       In many of the recent cases of violence, follow-up studies have shown the the perpetrators of the violent acts had been loners who had experienced ostracization by their peers and had been targets of bullying.  This seems to be an attempt to find rationalization for the horrible atrocities.   Bullying is certainly a bad thing, but can we come to a sensible conclusion that it can drive someone to acts of violence?  Or is there a deeper issue at play that goes beyond the bullying?

        Bullying has been a hot topic in recent years.  Kids have committed violent acts on others, participated in criminal mischief, or even killed themselves attributing these acts as a response to having been excessively bullied.  No one deserves to be picked on maliciously and certainly not for ongoing stretches of time.   But vicious retaliatory behavior is not justified either.

       When I was young there were bullies and kids who picked on other kids.  Rarely was a big deal made of this behavior.  We were usually told to fight back or tell someone else who could take care of the situation for us.  There was no bully victim mentality.

         Now we are quick to label certain people or groups as victims.  There are many people who cower behind the victim label and use it as a crutch or an excuse.  Media, celebrities, and politicians often set bad examples by looking for scapegoats in people they don't like and sullying reputations in the process.  If this sort of behavior is acceptable in the public arena, kids might see it as the normal reaction toward schoolmates and peers.

         Have we as a society tended to elevate victimhood as a justification for a righteous anger to the excess?    Has being victimized become the excuse for antisocial behavior?   Are parents and school officials paying enough attention to make sure some kids aren't becoming victimized or other kids aren't  bullying others?
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  1. Congratulations, Shelly!! You rock.
    'No bully mentality.' Apt description. You're right that is was not a big deal, even in my day.
    Really unique view you took with this one. Can't argue with it though. Has society taught people to play the victim card to the extreme?

  2. This is such a beautifully written piece that's given me so much to think about Shelly, absolutely brilliant and thought provoking piece. I think you're right about it not being a valid excuse but I can understand where some people come from when they're forced into doing something, it's a weird world.

  3. Congrats to Shelly!!!!!

    Bullying wasn't talked about much in my day either, but we talk about it at school these days. Since my youth, I've heard many adult stories of being bullied and the negative impact it had on their lives. No one should have to worry about being bullied.

  4. I do agree with you. I was taught to fight back, so I did and people stopped bullying me.

    Or they tried, but didn't stick, because I knew they were weaklings and I was strong because I could handle anything they threw at me.

    Of course, this was because of my world view and the fact that I have been blessed with some extraordinary talents.

    So I can't say that what worked for me works for others.

    That said, I do believe bullies would stop existing if parents told their kids they're amazing. Sounds silly, but confident kids don't stand on bullying.

    More importantly, confident kids don't bully.

  5. I think bullying is part of animal nature. The think that has changed since we were kids is that victim mentality. The sad thing is that the person being bullied thinks there is no one to go to.

  6. Alex -- I think we have created a victimhood society. This corresponds with the rise in lawsuits.

    Yeamie -- Weird world indeed!

    Teresa -- Bullying is wrong and no one should have to endure it, but it happens and it needs to be addressed when it starts.

    Misha -- We need a culture of heroes even if on a micro level and not a society that always has to cower in the role of victim.

    Susan GK---Parents need to teach kids to cope, school officials need to take the problems seriously, and workplace management need to listen to concerns of employees. The strong will often take advantage of the weak if it empowers them further.


  7. Thanks to everyone! Unfortunately, I was bullied in school and have been at the workplace as well. But one can overcome by ignoring the negative behavior. Karma does happen.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  8. Congratulations to Shelly! That's awesome.
    Bullying is a terrible thing for anyone to endure. I remember my brothers being told to fight back. It seems that back in those days the solution for just about everything was more physical violence. The thing is, it usually worked. As soon as the bully knew someone could take him down he quit the behaviour.
    I do think in a lot of ways we have a 'victim' society. So many people say they've been victims of whatever it is they went through...I suppose in the end we're all victims of life. Still, it is far more satisfying, I think, to consider yourself strong and resilient, rather than a victim...although it sometimes takes a lot before a person gets to a place of strength in their live.

  9. Misha said it! Bullying comes from a poor self-image. The bully feels the only way to make himself feel better is to put others down. But that doesn't raise his self-esteem, it only lowers it further. Thus the vicious cycle as he continues to try.

    I was bullied a few times although I don't remember bullying happening that often to anyone.

  10. I am older than any of you I think and I certainly don't remember bullying being a big issue in schools nor do I remember anyone allowing themselves to be so victimised they committed suicide which seems to be one of the big problems these day as well as those victims who decide to retaliate with guns and such. I agree there is a victim mentality, but I also think we tend to wrap kids up in cotton wool. Someone mentioned bullying happens with animals, it does, and survival of the fittest is the law of the jungle. We don't like to admit it, but we too are animals and our natural instincts are basically animalistic.


  11. I can't remember bullying at school mind you I suppose I am much older than most, but nowadays it is constantly in the news. I feel sorry for the children of today.


  12. It's about time someone addressed this subject. Bully for you, LEE!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  13. Shelly -- Ignoring the bully behavior is a big part of defeating it. Bullies are looking for attention.

    Eve -- Fighting back physically was not even always the best solution. Just standing up to the bullies or ignoring the behavior often is all that is needed.

    L.Diane -- I was bullied on a few occasions but it never went far and I never had to fight anyone.

    Jo -- We are forgetting the Law of the Jungle and thinking reasoning is always the answer. It's nice when we can reason but there is no reasoning with some people.

    Yvonne -- Parents need to instill courage and not fear in their children.

    StMc -- I thought I should take the bully pulpit on this subject.


  14. Thank you for this post. Bullying has been around forever. I was bullied, my children were bullied, most people young & old are bullied some time in their lives. When did it get so out of hand, and make the world news on a daily event??? I agree with Arlee. The heartbreak is when people commit suicide or whatever over it, those are special cases where I truly believe those children or young adults had other issues to initiate such a deadly act.

  15. The bully/victim scenario seems to be a outgrowth of the 'I'm OK, You're OK' generational thinking. It's OK to be a bully if you have a reason and it's also OK to be a victim. Neither of which suits me.

    I was taught to fight back or walk away. Never felt like a victim, but then I was also taught to take responsibility for my own actions. Personal accountability seems to be a problem today.

  16. lovely to see Shelly here! And what a great post. one of the reasons I love to write bullies in stories is so they can get what they deserve in the end. :)

  17. Cathrina -- The extreme reaction to bullying has to have another dimension. Firstly, I'd ask why ongoing bullying would be accepted by an individual without telling someone or taking some kind of action. It's all wrong, but wrong on both sides.

    Faraway -- You bring up an important point. Accountability belongs to all of us and if we don't accept it then there are consequences.

    Nutschell -- Comeuppance is a satisfying end to the bully behavior. Bullying is a good story device.


  18. Congratulations to Shelly and Arlee the Bullies are still in power but now they wear suits.


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