Sunday, April 10, 2011

Being Your Own Worst Enemy

Recent  events in Korea have made bullying a newsworthy subject. It is a serious problem, says the columnist on spirituality for the Catholic Times, that can result in death or lead to mental problems.

Bullying can take place in every sector of society but is a serious problem especially for children, who have little in the way of defense.  The columnist introduces us to the word 'Seutta,' which in Korean means to shun oneself. It occurs when a person in a community or organization does something that  turns others against the person, a common occurrence in society.The persons usually don't realize there is a cloud of distrust hanging over the group because they are  present. They don't  partake in the community and make no effort to join.  And the community does not recognize them as members and the individuals usually don't know why.

The ones who are bringing this about  are for the most part  egotistic and narrow-minded. Although they say they love the community, they act in ways contrary to the good of the community.This also is the reason many  leave the  community.

The columnist agrees there are many ways to see the problem of those who are bullied and those who make themselves lonely by their actions.  He feels the root cause is a lack of trust, fearing others and the world.  They feel small and timid in the presence of others, and when they  compromise they feel  they lose something of themselves in the exchange. Not wanting to acknowledge the fear and uncomfortableness they feel within themselves, they tend to react with selfishness. In defending themselves they often form factions in an attempt to  sooth their loneliness, without realizing that what they think they will lose they actually gain by trusting.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

It is said that trust is the unconditional acceptance received from another and returned in kind. Does that mean, the columnist asks, that when we do not receive it we are not able to give it? Trust that I give to another, the columnist believes, will return to me; it's a reciprocal gift.

Bullying and 'Seutta' are problems that arise, the columnist concludes,  when we do not trust others enough. This is a problem not only between individuals and groups  but also between countries. A healthy approach to the problem is to give the benefit of the doubt to the other until it is shown, after a sufficient period of time, that it was not merited.

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