PROMPT WORD: PATH
Tank Scrivens (aka Peter) was a ferocious bully throughout his school years but only came to terms with the human destruction he’d left in his wake when he became a dad, at age 29, to a frail, slightly built, son.
Tank was already six-feet tall, sported ‘fullback’ shoulders, and had a burgeoning five o’clock shadow when he was in 6th grade, and he wielded those attributes in a reign of terror from there on.
Once Peter recognized that his son may one day be ‘fodder’ for bullying with such a puny stature and a clear gentler nature, he regretted every swirly, wedgie, and cruel insult, he had imposed on his victims and felt terrible guilt about what the long-term effects may have been because he dearly loved his son and felt weak contemplating any of those things happening to him.
Peter Scrivens decided that he must make his past ‘right’, so he took a leave of absence from work spending weeks seeking to identify the best methods to protect his growing boy from other misguided, angry, boys, as well as, hoping to spare would-be bullies from the burden of guilt they’d one day suffer from taking such a path.
Tank Scrivens relived as many atrocious episodes as he could recall and came to a surprising conclusion; the boys he had ‘chosen’ to victimize all shared the same subtle traits which had nothing, at all, to do with their size, so he carefully listed the most prominent ones as follows: slumped posture, easy to separate from any group, wouldn’t look him in the eyes, were hesitant in their gait, and never, ever, raised their voices.
With that revelation in mind, Peter Scrivens got to work making sure that his son would not embrace any of those ‘tells’-also including the wisdom of “safety in numbers” and gamesmanship- as he simultaneously began writing a self-help book for other dads entitled, Bullies Are Made but Their Victims are Chosen: “In this world, there will always be bullies so teach your kids how to avoid being their victims.“-his book would become a best seller, not only as a deterrent to bullying, but as a guide used as an artful approach to asserting oneself in job interviews and the competitive job market.