The Insignificance of Indifference

Someone used to say to me, “The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference.” I used to hate that saying. But I’m beginning to see it for its truths, and, thinking about it today, I’m beginning to see how this simple phrase could help all of you who have ever been bullied.

I will be the first to admit that I do not think it is a bad thing to hate. It is an emotion and emotions are natural and to deny ourselves the right to experience any emotion, even the negative ones, is not a healthy way to live. But I understand why parents often teach children not to use the word hate. I understand hate’s implications, just as I understand love’s.

But I do not think a bully hates. I think a bully is indifferent. A bully does not know you, the true you. They know what they want to see, and in you a bully often sees his or her own imperfections. Every individual in this world has a story. The reasons behind one’s actions and the reasons to the components of one’s personality lie simmering beneath the surface.

To hate, you would have to know those reasons, know what makes a person tick, know more than just what appears on the surface. Therefore, when you are the victim of bullying, the bullying is not coming from a place of hatred. Though, it is certainly not coming from a place of love, either.

So that only leaves one option: indifference. And if bullying stems from a place of indifference, you should view the acts of bullying as insignificant, inconsequential. You should not let the bullying have any effect on you. Indifference, in the context of bullying, is cowardliness; a bully is a coward.

But you. You are strong. I know it, you know it. Now show it. There is no such thing as a bully.

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