The Huffington Post
April 9, 2012
By, Toni Nagy
We often excuse the most atrocious behavior as “human nature,” and dismiss any possibility for things being different. Nine out of ten Americans believe there will always be war because that is how we are hard wired. That a part of our animal instinct is to dominate and destroy others because we share the same Darwinian principle of “survival of the fittest.” The desire for a more peaceful society is often distorted by the acceptance that our brutality is not only caused by social conditioning, but also our DNA. History has countless examples how horrific we can be towards one another, but there is another story to be told that is just as powerful, just as potent, which is the human capacity to feel compassion.
Lee Hirsch’s Film Bully explores the impact of bullying, a problem that is hard to deny considering the recent media attention to young people who commit suicide to escape the torment of their peers. The cliché “kids will be kids” has never convinced me that bullying cannot be stopped, and the impact of Hirsch’s film is proof. It may have been human nature at one point to club a woman over the head and bring her back to your cave for an unconscious raping session, but as we become more civilized the expectation of how we treat others changes. What sets us apart from any other species is our capacity to reason, and we are wasting this great potential by excusing inexcusable behavior because it feels too hard to change. We have to remind ourselves that our journey is not done just because the physical evolution of losing our body hair and our developing better posture has happened, but that an evolution of consciousness is still to come.