Earlier this week a private boys’ school in Melbourne got a lot of unwanted media attention for publishing an article on its website on the topic of bullying.
The article was written by Melissa Anderson, who describes herself as a “resilience coach”. She’s also a counsellor and a pharmacist.
My first reaction to it was astonishment, disgust and a kind of despite-myself amusement. I admit, I spent a good half an hour ridiculing it on social media.
As I read and re-read it, though, I began to wonder: what if it deserved the benefit of the doubt? What if this wasn’t the work of a person with very bad ideas, but merely the work of a very bad writer?
What if somewhere past the corporate tinniness; deep within the thick, barely penetrable forest of the gardener anecdote; beyond the jarring non-sequiturs and sudden change in addressee there was something worthwhile?
What if this was… salvageable?
So I went through it as a kind of exercise in morbid curiosity. Here’s what I came up with: Continue reading