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Fr. Barron comments on "Bully"
Interesting commentary Fr. Barron.
Would you mind doing an additional commentary video, which answers/describes what is a good adult male role model in our current society?
I appreciate that this is a more difficult topic to talk about and to define but I would appreciate hearing your insights on this topic.
4/26/2012 2:54:12 PM
GREAT ZIP JUMPER FATHER!!! IT ACTUALLY SAYS WORD ON FIRE(.)ORG ON IT!!! I WANT ONE TOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)
4/26/2012 6:00:36 PM
Thank you Fr. Barron for your enlightening videos. As a young male I consider you one of my role models
4/26/2012 6:38:27 PM
Thank you Father for recommending the book "Boys Adrift". I am a catechist at our parish and throughout this past year the problem of bullying came up in our small and large group discussions. I hope after reading "Boys Adrift" I can receive some answers and help. I am also the father of 6 very young boys who I hope will benefit from me reading and applying what I learn from this book.
4/26/2012 9:17:56 PM
What about the other 50% of bullies? The Mean Girls? What advice do you have regarding them? Or does the movie dismiss them too? Its every bit as bad as what the boys do.
4/27/2012 10:59:30 AM
Thank you, Fr. Barron. I think what contributes to the problem, for both boys and girls, is the lack of real chores. Kids and teenagers need meaningful, daily chores to mature properly. Taking out the trash once a week after mom tells a kid to do it three times is not a real chore. May God bless all parents in this difficult society. Keep the faith!
4/27/2012 11:47:09 AM
While I agree to some extent I am surprised that the role of faith and how to treat our fellow human beings was not discussed. If the male role model behaves as a bully at work or at home nothing is accomplished. It is in trying to live according to religious principles that should be the first indicator of how a man, or woman, for that matter behaves towards others. There really is no excuse for bullying--and parents should not be clueless about their children's behavior.
4/27/2012 1:26:45 PM
Hi, Dr. Sax also has a book called "Girls on the edge" I am sure Fr. Barron would do a great review of it, please do!!! Bless you, and thank you!!
4/27/2012 2:21:42 PM
One of the difficulties is that teasing, like gossip, is an easily abused but probably universal method of establishing and enforcing social norms, in this case, of manliness. This is what makes it so easy to minimize the problem of bullying as just a part of growing up. One learns to be manly in part by having it taught and modeled by real older men with manly virtues. The word virtue, after all, is linked etymologically to manhood. Naming unmanly actions must everywhere be one way boys learn to be manly.
The great advantage of traditional and responsible initiation rituals - as opposed to hazing in fraternities - is that they provide a challenging but not gratuitously cruel way of managing the social transition from boy to man.
Another point is raised above by Connie O., who asks, "What about the other 50% of bullies? The Mean Girls?"
I don't know if there are reliable comparative statistics, but certainly there are examples of girls being driven to despair and suicide by cyber-bullying. To the extent that this kind of bullying is new in scale and scope, one might point to the breakdown of the traditions and customs that guided girls from adolescence to womanhood.
Contraception and the sexual revolution have changed the nature of the sexual marketplace for the young, to the great disadvantage of young women. With the demise of the shotgun wedding, girls can no longer hold out for marriage or at least its promise as the condition of sexual intimacy. They have become more sexually aggressive in competing with each other for male attention, especially in college where men have become a relatively scarce commodity and with the rise of the slacker dude, a good man is harder than ever to find.
In sexual behavior as in career path and so much else, the 'gender neutrality' celebrated and promoted by sexual revolutionists has everywhere promoted male patterns of behavior - and the defeat of biological and social obstacles to them - as the norm for girls.
4/27/2012 7:01:09 PM
Great commentary. I couldn’t stop thinking that this phenomenon appears symptomatic of the breakdown in family. That structure is so important to healthy development. I think the world is going to fast… anybody ever wonder why “quiet time” is so effective - and not just for kids?
4/28/2012 1:26:14 AM
Girls can be bullies too....please comment ...Also how do parents deal with clueless teachers and administrators?
4/28/2012 6:50:26 AM
Good comments; I have not seen the movie, but have read several reviews. As a father of 4 (4 adults, 2 of each)I am interested in the "crisis" of bullying now being discovered and I fear it is another "crisis" which looks for a government solution vise a social solution. I am a baby boomer and we fought, sometimes winning and losing against bullies, but we worked it out-perhaps our initiation rituals of a kinder and gentler time. Today any positive aggression(fight back, dodge ball, tag)such as to stand up for what is right, is bred out of the next generations. The default from individual responsibility and decision making is to defer to "proper authority", call somebody, a teacher, a cop, the government before acting to defuse or deter the bullies out there. Whether it devolves into 2 of 3 planes on 9/11 being successful or into a Virginia tech massacre, personal responsibility is not promoted nor is group/social responsibility, but only defer to authority-government, teachers, etc. Perhaps it is the weakness of family institutions and male role models to infuse into boys the responsibilities of a society. Thank God my children have become thinking and responsible adults before the loss of a culture which should infuse definitions of what is right and wrong plus the responsibility to act on it when necessary even before deferring to government authority.
4/28/2012 8:20:42 AM
I was a girl who was mercilessly bullied in middle school & early high school. Now, many years later, people from my school still ask me how I managed to survive without being a very emotionally disturbed person. (the answer to that is God)My parents were no help either, my mother was mean to me(she had her own issues). I had nobody to talk to and was totally isolated for 2 or 3 years. but now kids are not even raised with that God awareness. So sad! We need to address the "mean girls" too. Not sure if that would work the same way as with the boys (strong female role model?) anybody have any thoughts?
4/28/2012 8:55:55 AM
Oh No! I am the slacker dude! I am 24 and still at home! But in my defense...I am commuting to college and I work in the summertimes full time. The defense rests. This video did remind me of the hell that high school and middle school was for me and how I in turn made it a hell for other people. It's a big regret of mine.
4/28/2012 9:37:19 AM
Our schools are full of secular values that have long given up on loving God. Even most of our Catholic schools put the service of Mammon well before serving God (as though the two could go together in the first place!). We have become so stuck on ourselves and how wonderful we are, that we fail to proclaim the gospel of Christ, and rather we adhere to and proclaim this life as all there is to live for. We have two great role models for man and woman. Jesus and Mary! And Jesus and Mary are for both sexes, not Jesus exclusively for men and Mary exclusively for women. We need them both in order to be completely who God created us to be. That we have largely forgotten this and have looked to a sinful men and women to be "role models" for us, is about as far as you have to search to understand why our children and adults are so messed up and hard-hearted. A man or a woman who truly loves Jesus and Mary, truly without separation or perversion of that Truth, as many attempt to do, will not be inclined to bully anyone nor to need other sinful men and women to be a role model. Adults that do not submit to the love of Jesus and Mary and understand their great need for this submission, will never be able to properly guide themselves nor our children into anything but the service of Mammon and the things of the flesh. We are far from God and his love and deeply mired in the service of self-pleasure and self-glorification. Bullying, perversions, hatred, manipulations, violence, victims, all stem from this unwillingness to serve the King and Queen Mother of Heaven, Jesus and Mary. As I wrote before, we are literally "stuck" on ourselves. And the type of society we live in now and see the rotten fruits of every day, is the natural result of a people who have, while praising God with their lips, have hearts that are far from him. The seed has fallen among the thorns, "the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts after other things entering in choke the word, and it is made fruitless." I love what Chesterton wrote when asked to comment on what is wrong with the world today. "Me". We must not think for a second that our attachment to worldly pleasure and status is not what allows our society to continue to decay in the manner that it is. We, those who receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, must look to ourselves and honestly ask just how much we each have allowed the "thorns" to choke the word that we have received. I am responsible for bullying in as much as I try to serve God and Mammon at the same time.
4/29/2012 8:55:19 AM
Brian S. Donahue
Male role models abound in the Church; they are called saints!
Just pick one, and have your boy read about him: St. Joseph, protector and patron of fathers and families.
St. Paul, who changed from a bully to a knight!
St. Ambrose, for his rebuking of Theodosius.
St. Peter Verona, for his fortitude in defending the faith.
St. Benedict, for establishing his order of monks.
St. Therese of Lisieux (yes, men can learn from women) for her joyful suffering.
St. Thomas More, for his refusal to compromise.
St. Maximillian Kolbe for his selfless sacrifice.
St. John Capistrano for defending Christendom against the Ottoman Turks at Belgrade.
And my favorite, St. Pier Giorgio Frassati, for his generosity and fortitude in helping the poor.
There are hundreds more, thanks be to God!
4/30/2012 8:38:26 AM
What about FEMALE Bullies? Do you know there are More female Bullies than male bullies? Women tend to be catty, jealous of each other. They compare and compete with one another even much more than men.
I hope Fr. Barron you can address this issue of FEMALE BULLIES in a next video clip, because it is SO prevalent in our culture. It is happening everywhere: Workplace, churches, secular, sacred everywhere.
Having a code of conduct will not solve the problem. Changing people's heart will effect Change.
Most bully that takes place is Covert and Subtle. It is cunning, clever, and hard to decipher. The person who initiates it do is because they THINK they can get by with it!
4/30/2012 10:03:07 AM
Awesome list, Brian! And they all point a person toward Jesus and Mary! Not toward self glory but God's glory. St. Bernadette is one of my favorites, and St. Mary Magadalen. And St. Patrick, and St. Jerome. And this from St. Paul in 1 Corinthians:
"I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"
All Saints lead to Jesus and and the Queen of Heaven, Mary Most Holy.
4/30/2012 11:26:04 AM
As a Catholic Christian therapist, whose primary population involves adolescent boys beginning at around age 12 all the way throgh into their twenties. I see first hand the effects of the lack of strong positive male role models in theri lives(starting with dad)as Fr Barron mentioned "clueless" or moreso uncertain of what their role as a father requires from them and on the other side of the coin, what their children need; emotionally, mentally and spiritually and physically. I try to bridge that gap; between the things that we (as parents) need to know and what we actually do know. For so long, we have as a culture have experienced the devaluation of masculintiy, (at times perhaps derservingly so). But I feel we are on the cusp of a great change. Referenced in the Old Testament Book of Malachi 4: 6. Turning the hearts of teh fathers to teh children mad teh hearts of teh children to theri fathers. Men-teh first sttep is turning your heart back to our heavenly father. (start with teh Bible) 2nd step is understaning your purpose-to reveal and relive Gods love here on earth, beginning with your family. Your fruits will bear witness to your actions. You can tell a real man, a good man by the way he serves others. I sometimes tell teh men I see is not to worry too much about the fathering part, but begin by focusing on how good of a man are you and what does that look like to others! God will bless Us All.
5/3/2012 4:20:11 PM
I believe the increased secularization of our society has led to an increase in bullying, and to children's oftentimes inappropriate response to being bullied. As children are exposed less and less to the teachings of Jesus, the less they know how to treat each other.
I was bullied in school, but I never contemplated attacking those who hurt me, nor did I consider suicide because of it. As a Catholic, I remembered the pain of the bullying, and resolved to never inflict that kind of pain on others.
While there always has been and always will be bullying, I believe the answer to decreasing it is a turning away from secularism and turning towards God.
5/13/2012 8:26:48 AM
Many girls are bullied also and it's been going on for eons. I don't believe that there's more bullying now,just greater awareness,which is a good thing. I was a student in Catholic schools in the pre Vatican11 era. Bullying was rampant. Sadly some of the worst bullies were some nuns and priests who should have known better! How did I come out of it relatively unscathed? The love and grace of God. How very sad that any child is bullied at school where there should be care and nurturing!
5/16/2012 2:11:58 PM
My daughter's Catholic school has a prominent issue with bullying. The way I see this particular school's issue is different though. This school is a blue ribbon school, and in the top ten percent in the nation for their academic scores. There is a significant amount of pressure to succeed, and because of this, the teacher's can be pretty harsh and mean toward the bottom scoring half of the class (an environment I and other parents are consistently monitoring, counseling, and warning the teachers and administration about.) My theory in this school is that the "academic bullying" by the teachers, in light of the pressure to perform and succeed, is causing a trickle down bullying effect among the students. I have heard from the principal that it's an environment that isn't likely to change anytime soon. The kids found to not thrive in this academically rigorous setting are usually encouraged to "re-think" whether their placement at the school is the most appropriate placement. My feeling is, there is always going to be a spectrum of performance. However, to simply continue to excuse the more sensitive kids, emotional kids, balanced kids, spiritual kids because they don't fit this academically elitist mold, is basically falling into a Darwinian administrative pattern of "survival of the fittest." The scores may be great, but bahaviorally and spiritually, I beg to differ, and it's a challenge to keep the situation scrutinized.
5/17/2012 5:21:38 AM
Robert, the great thing about your post, is that you realize that now. It isn't until you realize past errors, that you can turn those efforts around and treat others with a lot of love and mercy. It's what St. Paul did and many others after him. Maybe with the time you have, when you aren't working for pay, you can give to others through volunteering, and practice giving away the mercy that God has shown to you. Thanks for sharing!
5/17/2012 1:14:18 PM
This should be combined with a well-informed approach that includes the pathology of child molestation. All parents, especially single parents who are looking for appropriate role models for their children should be aware of the typical behavior which includes long term seduction. The use of mentoring programs can open the door for the molestation of children. This is a realty which should not be ignored.
5/21/2012 9:32:33 AM
Also, Pope Benedict's term "reciprocity" is very valid when the "what would Jesus do?' quote is used against victims to discourage self-defense.
5/21/2012 9:35:48 AM
Your commentary on Bully is exactly what I was missing in my youth, I became a "slacker-type".
5/31/2012 4:41:37 AM
Tonight I was introduced to Fr. Barron's commentaries and am so impressed that it will become a daily habit to choose one to listen to. I wld like to comment on bullying. What I am not hearing is enough reference to bullying by teachers. I can hardly remember peer bullying even though I was the subject of a lot of it. Moved a lot-always the new kid. Very tiny - bullies love small kids. And so on. But the most destructive was the verbal abuse and humiliation at the hands of teachers, usually in front of the whole class. Whether it was me or another classmate being ridiculed or abused. Referring to it as Dante's Inferno was very appropriate. Children follow adult example and teachers often teach children how to bully.
6/14/2012 11:38:03 PM
I recently noticed how many of our children's classics base their plots on transformation through suffering. Two that come to mind are "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Velveteen Rabbit." In both, the central character is transformed through the hardships he endures, into a stronger, more beautiful, more real "person." Perhaps returning to these classics is a good way to prepare boys' intellects and imaginations for later adolescent rights of passage.
6/19/2012 4:45:08 PM
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