It’s so easy to point to this star or that hero and say that she is a bully or that he is a victim. The story is often so much more complicated than that. Besides, aren’t we all tempted to see ourselves as the perfect one in our own story.
In truth, we are all victims, bullies, and heroes. Sometimes, we are the bully. Sometimes we are the victim or the hero. Other times, we play all three roles during one incident.
Although violent behavior cannot be tolerated and victims cannot be blamed, if we look beyond blame to contribution, we see a richer story. This story offers more possibilities for change and growth.
The real question is: How did I contribute to the role of bully, hero, or victim? Asking the question, in and of itself sets us on the path of true accountability and steers us from victimization of ourselves and others. After all, what is a bully, but someone who has been victimized by aggression, indulgence, or neglect?