Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's Really Scary?

We were sitting and chatting, a seven year old and a four year old and I, about Hallowe'en. I was hearing about costumes while the kids were decorating our apartment with black and orange streamers. There were skulls and flashing eyeballs to be placed, just right, around the apartment. I had to work to ensure that my wheelchairs weren't wrapped up in orange and black! The girls were talking about really scary things ...

vampires ...

witches ...

zombies ...

mummies ...

Both girls like scaring themselves a bit so they went over the top, if that's possible on Hallowe'en, about ghouls and ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Interspersed with all that were giggles and laughter. Finally the apartment looked suitably scary, it kind of looked like parts of the apartment were behind spooktacular crime scene tape.

Later, we went to get their nails done, there is a wonderful salon nearby that is really welcoming to the girls and they have women there who can paint designs on tiny little finger nails. Ruby opted for black polish with webbing and spiders, Sadie opted for even pumpkin faces painted over orange polish. Again, when we left the store, we chatted about scary things.

At one point I asked the girls, "What do you think the scariest thing in the whole world is?" Ruby didn't take a second to answer, she said, "Bullies." Sadie thought for a moment and said, "Ruby's right bullies are really scary."

I have to admit, this wasn't the answer I expected. It was the answer I should have expected but, even so, it took me by surprise.

Bullies: people who are mean on purpose.

Bullies: people who hurt others deliberately.

Bullies: people who intentionally demean others.

I understand why the girls felt that way. Mummies and zombies and vampires and witches, all of whom they will see tonight as they go out to gather candy in big sacks, they are the fun kind of scary. It's real people who do really mean things to purposely hurt - that's what's scary.

Almost immediately after Ruby's answer and Sadie's agreement our attention was caught by something else. We continued on our way.

I disagree with the girls about the scariest thing in the world. To me, bullies aren't the scariest thing ... what scariest is the inaction of those who can but don't take action when bullies bully. It frightens me that bullies seem to act with tacit acceptance of their behaviours. It frightens me that bullies even have the slightest opportunity to frighten two little girls.

Give me a zombie, give me two ... but save me from those who won't do what they should do to stop hurt, harm and fear.

Here's to a night of ghastly spirit's and the howling of yawning graves ... let's just make sure that on the morrow, we confront the every day evil of purposeful hurt.


Colleen said...

All I can think is Amen to that Dave. Ruby is so wise and insightful. Thank you for sharing her stories with us.

Sounds like you are having loads of fun with your girls. Happy Halloween to you and Joe and family!

Anonymous said...

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.
Dante Alighieri

I think I cited this quote here already, but I think it appropriate to cite it again...

But on a lighter note
HAPPY HALLOWEEN and lots of candy!


Dan Wilkins said...

When you first posed the question my immediate thought was, of course, "Tea Party Republicans" ... but then came the turn to bullies and I thought, "huh ... same thing."

I've never been a fan of those who impose their will be instilling fear in the hearts of others with no respect or consideration for anyone but themselves. Maybe what scares me most is the potential for long-term collateral damage that comes part and parcel with the bullying ... lives changed forever ... that sort of thing.

Speaking of quotes, one of my faves. Appropriate as well:

"We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you."

MLK, jr

Love. It is the only thing.

Happiest of Halloweens to you all.


BY said...

My goodness, children can be wise. As is their Uncle Dave. May they long stay as rooted in reality as they are.

What's even more scary is how easy it is to be a bystander, or even worse, to drift in with the bullies.