Day 7 – Logroño to Nájera (29.4 km)
Genuine love is another fascinating occurrence, which, when it bites us, renews us in a most positive way – hopefully for a long time. When we are in love we tolerate and endure far more than we normally would. We are transformed; we see glory and, by living in love’s paradise, we can lose reality. When love is healthy, it provides purpose and drive and offers unrestricted access to our being and to the person we love. We are convinced that we have found what we have instinctively been looking for all along; we have found a human connection – a mate and a home.
In many cultures, including parts of the Islamic world, men still bully women because they are perceived to be inferior or they regard controlling women or restricting women’s movements as their right. Some men consider violent behaviour such as rape to be their prerogative. Only the use of greater mindful behaviour can eradicate this. Any form of manipulation in supposedly true, honest and open love surely is misplaced.
The more conscious a society, the better it will be able to handle bullies and diminish their influence, which again demonstrates the importance of growth in awareness. Should becoming more conscious not be a compulsory subject at school?
To answer the question I raised at the outset regarding gender participation in bullying: both men and women can be bullies, although blame usually points to men and this is a fact we cannot be proud of.
I had my own bullying experiences when I was around fourteen years old. We had a bully in our class. He was quite tall and chubby and had an eye on me. I was an average kid, excelling only in music, which hardly counted. One day, when he verbally taunted and physically abused me again, I gave him an unexpected punch and one of his front teeth came loose. He never bothered me again. After this incident I gained sufficient confidence to become the best in sport in my age group at school – not that this was a great achievement: the school was in a small town and competition was limited.