The Importance of Understanding What Prevents Peace – Introduction to the Bully Programs
In today’s world, there are bullies everywhere – at home, at school, in offices, among nations. There are ongoing attempts to stop the fighting, stop battles, and stop wars, yet they still go on. The question we need to ask not only your students, but also yourself, is: “What creates these battles? Is the cause of it outside ourselves – with the “enemy” – or does the battle begin in my brain?” Once we understand how fights begin, where it starts – we can stop them. If we see that we are the source of conflict we don’t put the responsibility to understand this on other people. The truth is that the only way to prevent wars from happening is to begin inside ourselves – to actually see the cause of battle in our brain in the way we have been conditioned to think, for it is the prejudicial conditioned images of the “enemy,” due to the divisively destructive nature of ethnocentric superiority, that creates war. And the source of this conditioning comes from our primitive brain’s reaction to feeling a threat to its survival.
The impulse or compulsion to bully is biologically and genetically based, built into us for survival — to protect ourselves from a person or group we believe is a threat to us. We therefore see bullying as paradoxically necessary for our survival – survival of the fittest. Also anyone within the group who seems weak becomes a threat to the survival of the group and is perceived as someone who needs to be eliminated — or bullied — out of the group. We shun, we intimidate, we bully all in the misguided name of survival. What will free us from this compulsion of the survival of the fittest? It’s not knowledge that will free us but rather seeing the actual movement of this compulsion within ourselves in the way we have been conditioned to think in this divisive way, for it is knowledge, motivated by the primitive biological brain, that separates us and creates conflict.
In the resources that follow we focus mainly on psychological conditioning originally emanating from the primitive brain in it's misguided intent for survival. It is at this level in conditioned thought that the conflict is best recognized and more readily dealt with. But one must not forget the origins of this psychological conditioning. That is why we have included two programs – Hardwired for War and Are We Born to Bully – to help young people explore these fundamental factors that are at the source of human conflict.