Bullying is not okay.
Bullying is never okay.
I was bullied, when I was in middle and high school. Recently, my daughter and my son have encountered bullying. Everything from skin shade to hair texture, the comments, the laughs, the taunts all garner a combination of emotions: hurt, pain, fear, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, etc. Meanwhile, this brilliant and creative young lady discovered a way to quite the naysayers.
Global media and local media have somehow normalized a culture of shaming and demeaning. Generations of students are being taught (indirectly) that it’s okay to touch (even if it makes the other person feel uncomfortable), that it’s okay to say (inappropriate comments at the expense of the other person being humiliated), or that it’s okay to do (cruel things to a person who identifies with a different culture than their own).
It is not okay.
It is time to be aware of the what’s happening in the world today. We have a responsibility to teach skill sets to students and stop assuming that they already know. Empathy and compassion are soft skills that require the proper environment, knowledge and modeling to cultivate.
I remember running home and falling into my great-grandmother’s arms in tears, hating the girls who bullied me, hating what they did to me and even hating myself because everything about me did not meet their standards and I so desperately wanted to ‘fit-in’. She sat me down and talked to me about love. Love for myself and love for the mean girls. Next she talked to me about compassion. We lived in a small rural community and she knew the family background of the mean girls and the lack of home training and lack of discipline. My great-grandmother was an excellent model for me to understand leadership, collaboration, and communication.
I did not understand it at the time, but looking back I see the seed my great-grandmother was planting inside me. And that’s what it takes – it takes someone to intentionally create a safe environment for students to feel free to share, to ask, and to learn from each other so that we may have more positive interactions to start building each other up and stop tearing each other down.
Bulling is not okay.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create a community of compassion and empathy click the link and let’s schedule a workshop.
Cheers to tha culture!