Posted tagged ‘back to the future’

Being Bullied? Anti-Bullying Lessons From Back to the Future *Part II*

April 19, 2010

In the last post, I talked about some of the anti-bullying messages from the classic movie trilogy, Back to the Future.  Here’s the other  half of the lesson:

  • SOMETIMES, YOU NEED MORE THAN WORDS TO MAKE YOUR POINT. George McFly finally makes his stand when he discovers his sweetheart being assaulted by Biff in a parked car at the school dance. Who can forget George dramatically closing his fingers into a solid fist, and delivering one of the most celebrated knock outs in cinematic history? In one moment, George gets the girl, ends Biff’s reign of terror, and earns the admiration and respect of his peers and his son.

LESSON– sometimes, using force is the only viable option.  Sometimes, it’s the only ethical course of action!

  • DON’T EVER TINKER WITH THE SPACE/TIME CONTINUUM.   It’s dangerous.  ‘Nuff said.
  • ASSERTIVENESS IS KING.  Following the parking lot incident, George is dancing with Lorraine when one of his classmates (who apparently didn’t get the memo that George was now a man to be reckoned with) rudely cuts in. Will George revert back to his old meek, weak and self-doubting ways?  Not a chance. The interloper is quickly and firmly ‘cut out’, the dance continues, and the new romance glows a little hotter.

LESSON– the path between passivity and aggression is the best course.  Assertiveness is a pattern of behavior – an energy- that announces the courtesy and respect you show for others is expected in return, and its well deserved.

  • TIME TRAVEL IS VERY REAL – AND THAT’S GOOD NEWS  FOR EVERYONE. No, you can’t hop into a tricked out sports car and fly into the past, or set the controls so you can skip decades into the future.  But all of us are traveling forward through time, every day and every moment. Doc Brown’s happy philosophical musing at the end of the last installment is both optimistic and uplifting: The future is not pre-ordained.

LESSON–  We have the power to create our own destiny.

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Being Bullied? Anti-Bullying Strategies You Can Learn From Marty McFly *Part I*

April 12, 2010
If I Knew Then What I Know Now.....

If I Knew Then What I Kn0w Now...

This weekend, my girlfriend and I re-watched  the entire Back to the Future trilogy.  What excellent movies – each one is a classic!

I got to thinking about how the seemingly insignificant choices we all make during the course of an average day can have major consequences–  and how the big decisions can send reverberations far into the future.  A committed decision, coupled with action can change the course of your life!

As you probably remember, Marty and Doc Brown hopscotch from past to present to future in a time-traveling Deloiran.  During the course of their adventures, Marty and Doc have to: play matchmaker to Marty’s parents, prevent Hill Valley from degenerating into a crime infested cesspool, and rescue Doc from getting gunned down in the Old West.  Any misstep could unravel history, and at every turn they’re thwarted by some incarnation of the malevolent Arch Bully, Biff Tannin.

*Ah, now you see I’m headed somewhere with this.

O.K. – Back to the Future is wonderfully entertaining – but can you actually learn anything from a 25 year old sci-fi action comedy?  I think so.

Here’s the Take Away:

  • APPEASEMENT NEVER WORKS.  Marty’s father, George, graduates from doing Biff’s homework to doing his corporate projects.  He let Biff take his hat.  When Biff crashed the McFly family car, George was the one to apologize!  ‘Ol wishy-washy George just shrugged and tried to laugh it off.
    • LESSON- A bully will NEVER by your buddy – its futile and counterproductive to even think it’s possible.  Give in to a bully’s demands, and you’ll be hit with bigger demands.  The extortion will never stop.
  • THE BULLY WILL HAVE A CREW – DOING THIS WILL DISBAND THEM IN A HURRY. Biff always had backup- either high school hangers on, or paid henchmen, or a gang and this multiplied the difficulties in avoiding him or facing him down.
    • LESSON- The trick to eliminating this numerical advantage can be found in Zecheriah 13:7- “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter”.  If you can take out the lead bully with a decisive move (which doesn’t necessarily  need to be physical), or strategically undermine their social standing and popularity, the bully’s power will be greatly reduced, and their posse will scatter
  • DON’T LET ANYONE PUSH YOUR BUTTONS – STAY COOL! Marty had a ‘fatal flaw’.  This fault consistently led him to make terrible choices; because of it, he might have doomed himself to a miserable life in the second movie, or get even get killed in the 3rd! Marty’s major malfunction?  He went nuts whenever anyone questioned his courage. Whenever he was called a “chicken” or “yellow belly” or “coward”,  Marty would invariably take the bait and do something stupid.
    • LESSON- getting emotional floods your brain with chemicals that make you irrational and prevent you from thinking clearly.  When you allow other people to control you, you become their puppet, and you lose.  Stay centered and you’ll never be goaded into  playing an enemies game.

** Part II will reveal 4 more critical ‘secrets’ about how to deal with bullies.