Nostalgia: Posted 13th May 2003. 29th July 2020. End LockDown COVID-19. What do we learn from life?

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Subject: Message posted

Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 11:10 AM


Thank you for your comment, which has now been reviewed by the Editor and has been posted on the relevant site discussion area.

— Original Message —

Reply to question on page regarding Bullying  which does not just apply among children, in fact it is very much part of the human condition.


This I believe to be true.  I have known of people in the health service who have been bullied.  Also some of these have been in the medical professions.

People who bully ironically are the ones with low self-esteem.  They project onto others those characteristics they share, but don’t like in themselves.  Alas they seek the vulnerable targets.  What is more interesting is that they may not even be aware that they are bullies, the reaction may be from their subconscious. 

Ask some person like Tony Humphry’s to lecture people for an hour and make them aware as why they engage in bullying.

As a young secretary, I was facing the problem. It was a set up situation to establish the power element of I am ‘the boss’ and you are ‘the secretary’.  This is nearly 20 years ago now.

I was saved by a wise Chartered Accountant in his 60’s who told me ‘Young lady’, if you don’t make a stand now, this will continue’.  I took his advice and it worked very well in that company and I was most sad to leave.

I became re-acquainted with Bullying and others seeking to be in control when I became humbled through ill-health.  The only difference this time is that I had neither the health or ENERGY TO engage……and the only coping mechanism was to be a passive recipient.

As I recover, I know that bullying exists.  My way of dealing with it was and continues to be reading about it.  A small book that I found excellent is John Powell’s (Jesuit Priest) ‘Why am I afraid to tell you who I am……written 1950’s but sets down parameters…….

Now I will give an example (in extreme).  When I lived in Zimbabwe, I either heard or read about this.  The New Government in the 1980’s was left with the remnants of the British civil service.  Naturally, there was a change over in staff and of course the new staff had an acquired status position in line with their promotion and based on what they identified from the past administration.

However, the system did not quite work the same way.  Sometimes to get say one’s tax sorted out – you had to employ a few relatives from the rural areas to get tax due back.  Power / control – we are talking about being human and susceptible.

I read/heard of one case of a white woman probably for the first time having to deal with the new system attending a civil service office.  She like the rest had to queue.  The black Zimbabweans had spent their lives queueing.  However, this woman each time she reached the desk – the African woman dismissed her and kept telling her to go to the back…..

Eventually – the answer came.  You are white, you have done this to us all our lives.  Now you see what it is like.

This I would call redressing the power balance and is understandable.  However, the key point is that people learn.  The learning is key.

Bullying is more a characteristic and it is acknowledged that if you confront bullies – they retreat.  The characteristic is born out of their own insecurity.

What is important is that this characteristic can change IF PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO INVEST THE TIME IN SELF DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH.

To confront:  May be as simple as say to them – That is your projection.  This disempowers the bully.

A Gandhi quote:

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,

deserve your love and affection.

Michelle quotes Nietzche

‘He who has the reason why can deal with any how’

You can view the article, along with all comments, by clicking the following link:

Diagnosed with breast cancer (BreastScreening) 2017 so I wrote book

About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
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