Bullying or merely competition?

Bullying is defined by the Encarta Dictionary as: intimidation of weaker persons – the process of intimidating or mistreating somebody weaker or in a more vulnerable situation. “What is Nigel on about now”, you are asking yourself!

The other day I was standing outside watching the House Sparrows and they were having an almighty punch up, or rather a claw-up, two males against a single male. Is this not bullying? Take a herd of zebra. Males fight as though their lives depend upon winning. Why? They are fighting to show that they are dominant and they want the females for themselves so that they can breed and have ‘their’ offspring propagating in years to come. Is this not bullying?

Let’s look at the majestic king of the jungle. When he is in his prime he has all the gorgeous golden lionesses in his harem to mate with at his leisure and on his own time. Granted he gets challenged from time to time but as long as he is stronger and a better fighter, he is King. So what happens when his crown comes crashing down and he gets beaten by another lion, or as usually happens, by a new pair of lions invading his kingdom? They beat the royal felineness right out of him and, in most cases, they kill him. Is this not bullying?

Let’s peep at the stately Nyala. Their territorial or dominance battles are won on good-looks and their ability to raise the most hair on their bodies as they circle one another on stiff, unbending legs. One will eventually back down and admit defeat. Is this not bullying – perhaps on an emotional level?

What about hippos, tortoises, spring hares, garden snails, foxes…..you name it they are all the same.

What about the aberrant ape – man? How do some men, and women, reach the upper echelons of society and business? Do they not, to a certain degree, exercise their intimate knowledge of bullying to suppress their challengers? In civilized society, I don’t quite know where that is, to resort to our primitive ways and physically club our opponents or possible challengers is not allowed so subtle, or not so subtle, bullying is carried out. Is this not bullying?

I am totally opposed to bullying in any shape, form or size, but is it not a natural phenomenon that we as parents should try not to over react to?

Just something for you to ponder about during quiet times – after all nature does it.

Nigel Anderson Guide for African Insight.co.za

HYPERLINK “mailto:nigel@africaninsight.co.za”

Photos: Zebra – Nigel Anderson; Male Lion – Rainer Hoelterhoff

About Andrew Anderson

Managing Director: African Insight - Travel Experiences That Make A Difference African Insight - Explorations Tourism Concessionaire - Somkhanda Game Reserve
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