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  • Writer's pictureLuke Miller

The power of one

I am tired of the term ‘bully’ as I feel it is used way too flippantly these days. Someone gets pushed once on the playground and ‘bullied’ may be one of the first cries. 

Real bullying, including the persistent targeting of the vulnerable, although quite rare, does exist. In my career of teaching and child raising, I have only seen a few tangible examples of it, and several scenarios often involve the same ‘perpetrator’. 

Recently I heard a new set of stories regarding one of the rare ‘bullies’ that impacted my daughter’s life. While listening to the newest scenario, now involving a different victim, it was obvious that the passing of years had not diminished the bitterness, resentment or mean-spiritedness of this bully.

Selfishly, this latest story made me happy that my own daughter was no longer around this mean child, and simultaneously empathetic to the pain of the newest victim.

As Karina and I reflected on the ridiculousness of the situation, I was reminded of an organizational psychology study that had adult teams attempting to accomplish a task together. Unbeknownst to the participants of the study, one ‘saboteur’ was planted within each team, and most of the time just one ‘bad apple’ was able to ruin the whole team outcome.

I carry this study as a reminder about how important it is to manage the environments in which we operate or lead, and to ensure that we don’t allow one person to bring down a team. 

Whether at school, work, or play, it is time to cull these social saboteurs. The lessons we glean about hardship, ‘thick skin’, and dealing with adversity, are not worth the toxicity that eventually implodes the environment.

Be unwavering in surrounding yourself with the best people, and relentless in culling the bad.

One person has the power to start a revolution, for good… or evil.

  • Now that’s a peak ethos.

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