The Bullying Stops Here

Anyone who knows me, knows I love Cumbria. There’s no river like a Cumbrian beck, chuckling its way over rounded pebbles; no mountain as proud as Blencathra (loosely translated as Hill of the Devil) (or Saddleback as it’s known). The greens, the blues, and the different hues for different moods … I love Cumbria.

Cumbrians are another matter. I have noticed in my four adult years of living in the county of my upbringing that there is a worrying incidence of bullying that I never noticed in Yorkshire. Sure, I would get or see the odd occasion, and some people draw it – never thought I was one of those – but I’m sure I didn’t see it so often. I checked this out with a Yorkshireman today and he agreed with me. In Yorkshire you can say what you think and people respect you for it. In Cumbria, if you say what you think, some people treat you with suspicion and might even single you out for reasons known only to themselves.

Here, I have seen it several times in different work places, in offices and homes. I have become collateral damage occasionally, because I refuse to roll over and I tend to support the underdog. Sometimes people who are quite high up lower themselves to take part in or even initiate the bullying.

I have observed that the power of letting agencies over their tenants leads directly to bullying, almost in an institutionalised sense, as if that is the way it has always been and it should be so.

People in the backwoods bully their neighbours in any respect where they have some kind of power; access to the road, or to water, or electricity. More money, even.

People turning up on the doorsteps of relatives and making threats, following the death of an elder and the ‘unfair’ decisions of a will.

Former colleagues ganging up and jeering at another who they treat as thick because she struggles to take in information. It was excrutiating. This from people who by their own admissions are unable to use a computer! Embarrassing doesn’t even cover it.

Don’t get me wrong; not everyone here is a bully – of course not! But the high incidence baffles me. I suspect it comes down to a combination of poor education, the parochialism of living in the same small town or valley your whole life, and some kind of inferiority complex. “She thinks she’s better than me. Well she’s not. I’ll show her. I’ve lived round here way longer than her. She can’t just come in and be better.” The traits seem to be usually of someone who appears to think they are better than others around them, trying to prove they are cleverer by pointing out how stupid certain individuals are. It isn’t big and it isn’t clever and by god, I didn’t realise that adults spend their lives doing this kind of thing!

I know some really lovely people – these are whom I prefer to have in my life and I work very hard to preserve their friendships … It is possible: you can be Cumbrian and wonderful. It’s the usual sad tale of a minority causing everyone to be tarred with the same brush, and quite frankly, I’m disappointed.

Offensive rant over.

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About Sakina Murdock

Greedy, creative, gregarious bird, writing from the bonny northern hills of Cumbria's Eden. There's a lot of soul in this place and the inspiration to create is everywhere, even on the bleakest days. Soulfood. Don't just subsist.
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2 Responses to The Bullying Stops Here

  1. Tammy Maas says:

    It’s not just where you live; the whole world is having issues with bullying right now. Here in the states we read about it every day. This wasn’t a problem in the past. Yes of course there were bullies and there will always be bullies. But not so many years ago parents raised their children to stick up for themselves, and to have the self-esteem to fight back. We now have two generations of people who don’t do that therefore we have kids getting bullied and parents who don’t know what to do about it. It’s really a sad situation. There will always be survival of the fittest and there will always be kids picking on other kids. But today’s kids are too sensitive, they need to grow a set because running to mommy and daddy will do them no good because they are helpless wimps too. We have created a society of people that turn to mush if someone even mentions an unkind word. For those of us that were raised right it makes for a difficult situation. You want to stick up for those that are getting bullied and help them out but you can’t help those that aren’t willing to help themselves.

    • Sakina Murdock says:

      Funny, but you’re not the first person to tell me that bullying is getting worse. My spiritual guru and friend, Anna, says that as we get closer to the ascension time, the bullies are coming out and being found out and brought to task… not sure that always happens though. It is hard to stand up to people who make you a victim; whether it’s a domestic situation, workplace or school. It takes much more than bravery: it takes knowing what to do. And the problem is that each situation is different and each bully has their own way of making your life a misery…. think on I say 🙂

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