We have spent quite a bit of time this month researching and blogging about bullying. We have come to the conclusion that as a culture if we all dig a little deeper into our own lives, we could lessen the problem of bullying greatly.
Children live what they are taught. What is it about our culture that is creating an atmosphere of bullying and emotional and physical abuse in our schools? There are many complicated answers to this question. As adults, if we start doing what we tell our children to do, and stop doing what we tell our children not to do we will be a kinder nation. Think about it:
- Where do you put your free-time energy? Do you support through your viewership the sitcoms that zing the one-line insults back and forth like candy? Why is it ok and sanctioned to hear other people insulted as entertainment with a laugh track? Do you support violent dramas and movies? Do you listen to music that is disrespectful and violent?
- How do you handle yourself in your personal life? Do you gossip about other people? Do you talk about people behind their backs instead of productive mediation and problem-solving? If you do, you’re not alone. Most of us do, to one extent or another.
- When you have a disagreement with your friends, collegues, partner, or children, do you fight fair? Do you say hurtful and mean things to get the upper hand on the situation? Again, you’re not alone, we have all done it at some point in our lives.
- When your adult friends are engaging in what we would define as bullying behavior for children, how do you react? Do you ignore it, or do you stand up and try to do something about it. It is ok to create a No Bullying Zone in your own life.
- Lastly, and most importantly, are you a bully to yourself? How we treat ourselves is often times how we treat other people. Learn to be kind, and gentle, and loving with yourself, and let that spill out to all you meet.
Chief Robert and Terri Lynn TallTree
“Teach us love, compassion and honor…that we may heal the Earth, and heal each other.” - Ojibwe prayer