Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Bully and the Crazy Boy

Thanks to Marc Stiegler for permission to use this. I don't have his original story, so this is paraphrased.

I'm typing this from memory, as oddly I can't find it online. It was part of a sci-fi story I once read, but it's often a theme for outsiders.

There was once a bully and a crazy boy. Every day, the bully would threaten the crazy boy, for his lunch money. And every day the crazy boy would give it to him. One day, a homeless man saw this happening, and took the crazy boy aside, to give him the secret only outsiders to society know; that nobody wants to mess with insane people, for fear they will catch the insanity themselves.

The next day, the crazy boy had no lunch money in his pocket to give, on purpose, and got beaten up. The day after that the bully asked for lunch money again, and was refused, and the crazy boy got beaten up. The day after that the bully asked for lunch money again, and was refused, and the crazy boy got beaten up. The fourth day, the bully asked again, still the crazy boy had no money in his pockets, and got beaten up. On the Fifth day, the crazy boy refused again, but just as the bully was about to start whaling on him again, the crazy boy begged "Don't make me hurt you again!". And the bully suddenly felt his bruised knuckles from beating on the crazy boy, and felt the black eye where the crazy boy had gotten in one good punch, and realized that he had not broken the crazy boy's spirit. And in fear, the bully ran away.
Now here's the dangerous part of the story, from my own experience. Sometimes, even knowing this secret, to learn to banish his own fear, the crazy boy will sometimes use weapons. Effective, sure- a bully prepared for a fistfight certainly is scared of the man with the knife- but frowned on by society at large, and for good reason. The Columbine Killers and Kip Kinkel were such bullied crazy boys.

Learning not to be afraid and take it is hard, but much better. And still better is meta-morality, the art of taking the morally superior high road by knowing one's philosophy well.
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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at http://outsidetheaustisticasylum.blogspot.com.