By Jacqueline LoFaro
October 5, 2011 — Social critics have called bullying the result of our “vulture culture:” the premeditated harm of the human spirit—and often body–by any aggressive derision or attack. It can be by one or a group of aggressors. The victim is usually “weaker” than the attacker[s]: smaller, younger, or , “different.” The aggressors are “vultures” because they feed on the “weaknesses” of their prey until they are psychically satisfied; reassured of their own superiority. Pre-schoolers learn to bully from their older sibs, teens learn it from their cohorts and parents and we all learn to be vultures from TV programming that puts “contestants in humiliating situations for our enjoyment. Stripped of their human dignity they become fodder for our fun. Online bullying has created attack with little possibility for defense. The bullies can be anonymous; a group of bullies can grow. Lies about victims can spread quickly. Reputations are ruined overnight. The vultures soar over their victims.
Our faith, however, proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation for a moral vision of society. The intentional targeting of any victim—whether for destruction, bullying or entertainment–is always wrong because every single person is precious. People are more important than status or pleasure, things or victory.
Have you experienced “Vulture Culture” in your everyday life?