Discover more from Stoic Observations
The Oreo Bully
Advice for the black kid accused of acting white.
A young person asked me how they could become more violent. In the light of the old adage “If violence doesn’t solve your problem, you’re not using enough.” I had read another query from the same person and assessed that they were being bullied for being a nerd and thus became anxious that their current personality would keep them in the McFly zone permanently. There being no time travel machine, perhaps fighting fire with fire was the path to peace and acceptance.
#1. Don’t hit anyone who hasn’t hit you. Ever.
#2. Realize that you are already right. You know that you are being treated badly and you know that you deserve better. You are already right. These people are wrong.
#3. Heal yourself. You thought that punching somebody in the face was a path towards healing. It is not. That is revenge. Revenge does not heal. It locks you in place and it turns pests into enemies.
#4. Realize that the world is huge and this problem is small. The question is how long are you going to stay close to this small problem and these small people? Walk away. You have other places to be, and better things to do.
I give you this advice because I think it is the only true solution. That is to say I don’t believe you have a physical safety problem, you have an emotional blackmail problem. In other words, you are giving other people power over you because you feel that you need their approval and acceptance. And because they are withholding it from you, you are withholding it from yourself. This is the core of the problem, you are punching yourself in the nose.
And yet I understand that you are black and without black friends, how are you going to fit in with that violence you see in black culture?
Think about it. If they have convinced you that you’re ugly, it doesn’t matter who backs you up and beats them down, you, your bodyguard, your vice principal, your parents, the cops, you still care what those people say about you. That is why people stay in gangs for 15 years 30 years. They can’t get that mentality out of their heads - they think they deserve to be in that nasty mix. They can’t walk away. They can’t even picture themselves anywhere else because they never learn to trust themselves and are always always always looking for some external validation. Like that ball cap in that color. Like that tag on that wall. Like that high school kid at that table. Such people are small personalities with big crutches. That’s not you.
How do I know that’s not you? Because you took a chance with a million strangers, and me in particular, to find your way out. You picked the wrong tactic, but we already corrected that. You’re not going to fight those losers, you are going to leave them to their immature and destructive games.
Now here’s the extra lesson. There is a difference between healing and curing. In this particular ‘Oreo Game’ scenario, the cure is to get an apology. You get somebody in the idiot gang to say they didn’t really mean it or they take it back. And even if you knew it was a real apology, they could still think it, without saying it, ‘yeah but you’re still ugly’. So they get punished or embarrassed, but you are still not whole. Right? Because it still hurts for you to think about it, and you can’t forgive them for being stupid and mean. That’s because you are not healed.
That’s why point #3 is important. You need to love you. Put away your doubts. Move forward.
My son had this problem with anxiety. He was 18 years old and he was never sure about himself. He practically had a nervous breakdown. He thought he was no good and that nobody respected him. What worked for him? He flipped the script. I asked him what happens when you help somebody? He said, they say ‘Thank You’. And what happens when you really really help somebody who maybe thinks that they don’t deserve help? He said, they say ‘Wow, you’re really great. I couldn’t have done it without you.’. Exactly.
No matter how bad off you think you are, there is always somebody in a worse position. There is something you know that can help that person. When you do and you truly help them, they will remind you how valuable you are. This is one of the big secrets of life. It’s why you learn. You learn so you can teach, you excel so you can be a coach. You overcome so that you can show others how to overcome. You provide a service and you get rewarded. This is what honest work is. Honest work means doing something you can do well in exchange for a reward. Honest work helps people on both sides.
So now you have learned what it means when people have no regard for your soul. So show somebody else that you do have regard for their soul. Simply be kind. Mind your manners and mean it. But do it for yourself too. Remind yourself of point #2.
You are on the path towards healing. See you on the other side.
A year later, Edward replied to me:
Thank you so much sir, I’ve been surrounded by evil so much for so long I don’t act right. Your post helped me. I broke my own code of conduct, I was helping someone with my sweat and blood only to find out this person was using me. It really hurts. I can’t even go into detail this world is full of sick fucks.