The bully is still in the playground. He has grown up and increased in numbers. The bully is like the mean girls that makes your daughter cry and not want to go out of the house. The bully is public perception not based on truth but the herd mentality. Peer pressure encourages others to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform to what the leaders say is right. I am not talking about teens or little kids right now. We have it at the adult level. Talk show host, People Magazine and TMZ speaks for some people. Rev. Al Sharpton speaks for some people. What is right has nothing to do with the pressure people put on others that don’t agree with them. This is the bear. Too many people are not thinking for themselves. We are become a herd.
I bring this up for two different incidents although they are more. The first is the controversial name of the Washington football team, the “Redskins.” Many people have been trying to bully the owner into changing the name based on their perception of racism. NFL owner Daniel Synder has been defiant and seen meeting with Native Indian nation chiefs. He has been attacked by politicians and anyone wanting more camera time. I like that he hasn’t caved. It is just the bear of bullying and peer pressure. It is nothing more.
The second one is a little more tricky but the same. I am talking about comedian and sage Bill Cosby. The comedian that at one time was on TV for at least five different times (Jello commercials, Fat Albert cartoons, Children say the Darnest Things, The Cosby Show and I Spy reruns) is now persona non grata in a number of venues because of allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted a dozen women over his career. Rape and the abuse of women is heinous. The truth has been lost and mixed with the fast and loose times of the 60’s-70’s where sex was expected, traded and used to advance careers. People in their 70’s have a different reality about sex than some of the people today. They aren’t the ones bullying people to cancel Cosby’s shows. They aren’t the ones surprised that models were in his room when he was on tour. The seniors have a different mindset. If you don’t believe me check out your local senior adult living facility. Those folks are “doing the nasty” all over the place. They are still in the sexual revolution. They started it.
I believe Bill Cosby started losing points with the younger public when he started criticizing what was wrong with our society. He poked the bear. The bear started looking for reasons to out him and bring him down. We can’t talk about what isn’t working in our society. We can’t talk about the countless opportunities we ignore. We can’t talk about what really matters.
The bear show us the women from Bill Cosby’s past. They have always been there. This was the culture of Hollywood. This was the norm of those that were in show business. Sleeping your way to the top or onto a show was the way it was. I am not saying this was right but that the people that did it and you see on TV now, were in this world thirty years ago. The pay offs that may have happened worked until after Mr. Cosby could not be prosecuted. Now 30 years later people that weren’t there are judging and condemning a man so much so that his incredible body of work is marred, scarred the bear. As a result his accomplishments and wisdom is being diminished. Nobody and nothing is perfect.
“It’s a Different World”, in some ways and the same in others. Gossip is a business. Peer pressure is an art form. If you live long enough to enjoy old age you’ll find out that not all the things you did in your life remain a secret. And what is funny is that you will find out that some of the old ladies you see on the bus, are raunchier than the young ones with the tattoos and piercings but they ain’t telling it. Peer pressure isn’t working on them. It is still a bear.
Old or young we are all still the same people. Don’t let the bullies put you in the herd. Think for yourself.
It’s certainly easier to go shopping. And easier still to buy what everyone else is buying.
We live in an extraordinary moment, with countless degrees of freedom. The instant and effortless connection to a billion people changes everything, but instead, we’re paralyzed with fear, a fear so widespread that you might not even notice it.
We have more choices, more options and more resources than any generation but we are still listening to the bear.