Superheroes and Bullying (Blog)

Posted by Andrew Won at

Has it already been a month since I posted? Wow. Well this last month has been a pretty eventful one being busy with church activities (VBS, speaking for one retreat in San Diego, and my own youth group retreat ending just last Friday). Finally, all of my busy summer ministry activities are over. Praise the Lord for His many mercies shining His love on many, while providing me and Mrs. Nerd the strength to endure.

I also spent a substantial chunk of time away from +Undercity Comics (Uptown Whittier) as a result of my business and while I was gone I got to thinking about superheroes and what makes them popular. I think one of the big reasons why we like superheroes is because we like to fantasize which superhero we would be or which super power we would have. But I think another reason why we like superheroes is because they often times rescue us from troublesome situations. Yes there are the natural disasters that they might be able to prevent, but I am more referring to the rescuing of one who is unable to defend themselves. I remember growing up, being picked on for not being the right color, not being the right shape, and not having the right facial features, and just thinking "If only my neighborhood friendly Spider-Man were flying past this situation he would surely rescue me from these bullies."

Wouldn't it be nice to have someone to get you out of situations like this?

In the last month I have seen a few instances of bullying and I noticed that it happens all over. It happens to kids and unfortunately it also can happen to adults though largely we assume that adults must surely too mature to be involved in petty things like bullying. But yes, kids get continuously humiliated and socially ostracized, and adults can be pressured by so much opposition that they get pushed out of jobs and such. It's really sad to witness. In these cases, what can we do as bystanders or even as victims ourselves?

Well one thing we shouldn't do is take matter into our own hands. Sometimes we can be tempted into exacting justice (sometimes fueled by revenge, which isn't really just) ourselves, but often we as firsthand witnesses can be much too emotional in such situations and can over react. It's much better to report the situation to someone who can do something about it who isn't fueled by personal emotions.

As a matter of fact, in these situations we think that the heroes are the people who rescue us out of hairy situations, and yes they are. Soldiers, police officers, doctors, and fire fighters really can't get enough recognition for the harrowing situations they plunge themselves through to rescue us. But Jesus in the Bible says:

30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-31

So first is to love the Lord from whom all love and goodness comes from, but secondly but equally important is to love our neighbors as ourselves. You see, it's the everyday interactions that we have with one another where we treat each other with love that makes us the true heroes. Seriously, we can just be good to one another and it can start a rippling effect of goodness to proportions that we may not see with our initial goodness. Sometimes it means just acknowledging someone's existence, or choosing not to react negatively to people, or even just exercising old fashioned manners. Please and thank you can go a long way when said to someone who has been through hell. Don't speak behind someone's back, and if you can't say something nicely then go take a deep breath and think about it before you say something. A handshake or an embrace is a great form of nonverbal goodness. 
A handshake is a great gesture of solidarity, and just good manners in greeting.
You may ask, is the answer to bullying that simple? My answer would be, if we over complicate it, will it justify us when we don't do anything? Because our individual choices make examples for other people who want justification for how they treat people. Especially, kids who most of the time act out what they observe in example by others.So be good to one another! You don't know who it will affect, and how it will affect them. It may be simple, it may be profound, but we all need to do it together, to make a difference. You can be a hero today!
Nerd of Nazareth

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