Bad Raps, and Bad Wraps

I grew up reading the Jungle Books by Kipling, so I’ve always loved wolves. The wolves take this baby in and raise him as one of their cubs. Like most adoptive processes, there’s a bit of cognitive dissonance about the whole thing. He doesn’t fit in well. 


So this video touched me.  It’s about perception and reality. For all of her obvious concern when she sees the wolves, they scatter when she says “Git!” The wolves are not evil. They’re just wolves.


This last year I’ve been working on the issue of bullies. I really don’t want to go to my grave grieving over things that happened when I was seven. And like all really good emotional issues, the opportunities come back again and again until I can find better solutions. There’s two schools of though on this. “Oh no! Not another learning experience!” And, “There you are again!”


Bullies function on a wolf perception.Someone has to be perceived either as a wolf to be driven away or a wolf who will probably eat you. Like most binary systems, it has some serious limits.


It occurs to me that two things have to happen to create a wolf perception. We have to give someone a bad rap. We give ourselves reasons why they’ve done what they’ve done. Maybe it’s true. Often enough, that’s a fantasy too. We just convince ourselves of their bad action and intent.


And then we dress them as villains. Give them  a bad wrap to wear: a black hat, a swirling evil cloak, an evil glint to their eye.


I’ve had it happen to me as well. I’ve had people hand me my black cloak and hat and tell me why I’m a danger.

It’s not that I believe there is no evil in the world. It’s there. Nor do I believe it my job to change people’s choices. I wouldn’t take someone’s path away from them like that. If we don’t walk our path as best we can, we won’t learn from it. 


But after years of dressing people in bad wraps and giving them bad raps and being dressed in the same, it occurs to me that they might just scatter if I said, “Git!” My perception is power I give or take, all by myself.



You’ll find the Jungle Book at Amazon.com. Skip the Disney copies. They’re cute but a completely different story.




You’ll find people who want to dress up in funny black cloaks and be icky and people who want to dress you too in all kinds of odd places. I hope you can say “Git!” to them too.



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One Response to “Bad Raps, and Bad Wraps”

  1. Judy says:

    Oh Ellen, BULLIES are everywhere, BUT, when you stand up to them (even if your knees are trembling), you learn something wonderful about yourself. We are all MUCH stronger than we think, and after a while the Bullies give up.Humour is often the way to diffuse their Bullying.Not showing fear of them is another. Confrontation is inevitable, and nobody likes it(except bullies), but Gee life feels good when you stand up for yourself.Both my parents were bullies so I know!
    I read a book called TOXIC PARENTS which changed my life, and explained a lot about the games bullies play, and how they manipulate.It was the most Liberating book I have ever read.

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