Due to the recent public attention and media blitz on bullying, I have been pondering this subject and thought I might share in an intelligent, thought-out, dissection of this issue and see what becomes of it. This may get long, but that's only because I feel that we need to look at the scientific, social and psychological aspects of the issue. (As best as we can, of course.) It is a tricky task, because I seek to look at both the minutia and a historical over-arching perspective. I will preface this discussion by being transparent: My political views are conservative and my religious views are Christian. I don't expect these views to hinder any facts or conclusions. So let's start out with definitions: We know that there is growing trend of teens and pre-teens committing suicide because of being bullied. In fact, suicide rates among 10 to 14-year-olds have grown more than 50 percent over the last three decades. (The American Association of Suicidology, AAS) Now, for some of my own observations and thoughts. I believe that there are two sides to this discussion: The Bully and The Victim. I believe that over the past 50 years, we have weakened the defenses of the 'victims' to deal with bullying. Through both media and a breakdown of the family, our society has created young people with little to no self-worth beyond superficial facades. I heard a commentator the other day state that bullting isn't natural or normal. Is this true? Isn't bullying a method of getting power by making others powerless? What did we expect would happen when you place a large group of immature humans in a social group? Aren't humans naturally inclined to create power structures within a social group? We may not like it, but at our core, humans are self-preservationists. As kids, we learn to use respect and tact and hard-work to get power and respect but when you are a kid and you want a toy, you take it, without regard to consequences. ...or as Ayn Rand put it, that each man “exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose.” I believe this is hard-wired into humans when they are born, but we grow out of it when we are older because we are taught to be civilized and that greater things can be accomplished as a group, than as an individual. I'll leave it there to allow others to chime in and get some discussion going. ~ J. J.