Adaptability / Adversity / Challenge / Empathy / Fear / Lessons From the Rose Garden SERIES / Sorting it Out / We Are Connected

Lessons from the Rose Garden__3: Eradicating Bullies

Bullies have appeared in great number recently. Gang-like, they infiltrate, taking more than their share. But they are here for a reason: Through our actions, we’ve invited them into our personal space. Unknowingly, we’ve fed them exactly what they’ve wanted most, and we are paying the price for it.

I happen to be talking about the activities in our garden recently, but I could just as easily be speaking about the state of affairs in the United States and in the world at large. Let’s focus first on my garden.

This week in the rose garden, my husband played with various bird feeders, each outfitted with a certain type of feed that both smaller and larger birds love. Results were good at first, but after a time, the large birds aggressively pecked and charged at the smaller ones, literally taking over the feeders that were meant for all. At some point, the smaller birds gave up entirely and no longer came to our yard. This was not the outcome we hoped for. We envisioned harmony and bird song, not fighting and squawking.

While my husband researched different feeders and types of feed that could solve the problem, he came upon the term for the larger, aggressive birds. Unsurprisingly, the lot of them–several species included–are commonly referred to as BULLY BIRDS for their bullying behavior. Well, isn’t that a marvelously accurate slang name.

It’s true that the avian activities in my backyard prompted this topic, but it‘s also true that bullies of the human kind have also emerged in abundance here in the United States, especially in the past decade and MOST ESPECIALLY within the last year or two. Bullies have emerged and have taken control in our country because we have let them take control.

We feed them with our inaction and our overt fear. The more passive and complacent we are, the more they are encouraged to do as they please. Who’s to blame them? We’ve given every indication they can get away with doing so. They’ve made a judgment call on their odds of overcoming us and the odds looked good. We may curse or blame them afterwards, but through our passivity and fearful reactions, through our running away instead of standing our ground, through buying into the implied weakness of ‘one’ instead of banding together with our brothers and sisters in the strength of ‘many‘, they’ve overtaken what was meant from the start to be for ALL OF US in this country–not for bullies alone.


To get rid of bullies, we must first stop feeding them the fear, inaction, and passivity that fuels them. We must denounce and drive away the aggressive ones that steal from the smaller and weaker among us, who take more than their share, the ones who shove and bluster and attack until they get their way. But we must do so in clever, non-aggressive ways.

We must do the work to come up with fresh, unique ideas that lead to mindful, measured, intelligent solutions that cause no harm to our sisters and brothers in this nation. Specifically, we must provide safe haven for the smaller and weaker among us. While doing so, the strongest and bravest among us must convey our strength, our intellect, and our fearless message that we refuse to be bullied, that we will drive out those that take our preference for harmony as weakness.

We must take back control of the spaces and places we’ve allowed bullies to claim as their own. This can only be done when we band together as one, when we show in sheer number that we are greater than the biggest and baddest of them all. (Okay, ‘baddest’ is not a real word, but it really ought to be. 😉 ) There is great power in numbers when we band together for a common good, when we stand up for not only ourselves but for the weakest among us, and when we insist on fairness and equality for all, safety and harmony for all.

After all the hard work is done, finally, and perhaps most importantly, we must BE the very things we wish to attract in our nation. We must BE the very things we want for ourselves, our loved ones, and our immediate communities. To have any harmony in our lives and in our world, we must make a genuine effort to attract and propagate the more gentile of the species, the ones who share with each other and sing beautiful songs that ease the collective soul of the world.


As for my husband and I, we’ve chosen not to feed the bullies that have overtaken our yard. Instead, my husband has since custom-built new feeders for our garden that far surpass the solutions that were thus far available to us. To make sure the majority of the birds we wish to help feed are being fed in the most harmonious way, with some trial and error, we’ve settled on a solution that addresses the problem in the following ways:

  1. We’ve discontinued providing the feed that attracts larger birds. These birds have categorically shown they cannot play well together, so they are now free to go and bully somewhere else and leave us alone to our civility and harmony.
  2. We’re now providing seed that only smaller birds will like. In other words, we are attracting what it is we want in our own backyard.
  3. And lastly, we’ve provided a safe haven within which the smaller birds can feed so they are not afraid to return to our yard. My husband has built a protective cylinder cage which the smaller birds can slip in and out of, but the larger, aggressive birds cannot. Within that safe zone, a wide variety of smaller birds feed in great number, each respecting the others‘ right to feed. It is an absolute joy to see AND to also hear, now that bird song has returned to our garden.

The bottom line is we’ve refused to allow those bullies to steal our joy.

bird feeder in garden, bullying

How about you? Are you feeding the bullies? Have you taken steps to push back against the bullies in your world and protect those weaker and smaller than you that may need your help?

If you’d like to read my views on the flip side of this topic, namely on EMPATHY, then please read this post I did a while back: BASIC NEEDS: Empathy (We’re All Connected or Have We Forgotten?)

Don’t just pray for peace!

Push for peace so that PEACE HAS A CHANCE to happen.

God be with us all.

Love you you all,

Like this Lesson-From-Nature post? Check out RELATED POSTS:

BASIC NEEDS: Empathy (We’re All Connected or Have We Forgotten?)

Lessons from the Rose Garden__1: Growing Under Pressure

Lessons from the Rose Garden__2: Everything in its Own Time


Don't be shy; Leave a Reply! Be kind, though. We're all friends here. Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s