Any form of bullying or negativity is intolerable; and, it should be addressed immediately. Kindness is a vital tool in addressing and overcoming negativity. What is kindness? Kindness is being nice, helpful, loving, and compassionate. What else can we do? An involved family and community is essential to bolster the confidence of our youth. Establish open communication with your children. Consider doing community service projects with your family. Should we condemn bullies? No! Each of us need to be a role model and set the tone. The habit of being positive, loving, and kind will carry into every aspect of our lives.
Any form of bullying or negativity is intolerable; and, it should be addressed immediately. When I witness any form of bullying, injustice, or negative behavior, I make a concerted effort to get involved and address it. If I do not get involved, then I believe that I am condoning the bullying and supporting to the victimization. That would be UNACCEPTABLE! So, how do I involve myself in a negative, intolerable situation without becoming an antagonist myself? The answer is with kindness.
Kindness is a vital tool in addressing and overcoming negativity. Through generous, but judicial use of gentle, loving words and benevolent behavior, we can overcome negative situations amicably. Address the actions without pointing out the bully or the victim brings balance back to situation. It is better to ask all involved: “What is going on here? Or, is there a problem here?” using a calm demeanor and gentle tone of voice, rather than to address the antagonist with questions like: “Who do you think you are? Or, what do you think you are doing?”
What is kindness? Kindness is being nice to yourself and others by doing deeds that are loving, helpful and compassionate. Kindness is being courteous. Kindness is showing you care. Love is kind (from 1 Corinthians 13:4). Kindness is being in and experience the moment with others. Kindness is giving your undivided attention during conversations (ignoring distractions like a cell-phone). Kindness is treating others as you would like to be treated. Kindness is whatever comes to your heart; you get to fill-in-the-blank.
What else can we do? As a survivor of bullying in school and in the workplace, I was driven to study the dynamics of bullying and ways to address it in my doctoral work. Bullying, in fact, has actually made me more resilient, which I contribute to the encouragement of my loving family. I also had such a wonderful support system outside of school with community theater and the performing arts. I had no time to let the hurt of the bullying fester, because I had so many extracurricular activities in addition to academic endeavors to keep me occupied. Positive activities outside of school with different groups of peers promote self-esteem.
An involved family and community is essential to bolster the confidence of our youth. I urge parents and other caretakers to be super curious. Be more observant and increase your awareness. Computers and cell-phones are technologies many of us did not have when we were teenagers. Our parents snooped in our diaries and journals, instead. They listened in on our phone conversations over a land-line. Our neighbors “tattled” on us if they saw us doing something out of the ordinary. It takes a village to raise our children. Whether you have your own kids or not, see how you can get involved.
Establish open communication with your children. Be assertive. Get their passwords. Do random checks. See what your child is doing. Yes, your teenager will resent it, but wouldn’t you rather be resented than have he or she commit a heinous act (cyber-bullying, suicide, or worse).
Consider doing community service projects with your family, like a canned food drive or neighborhood beautification project. When parents and their children do activities together, they grow closer as a family unit. Encourage your teenagers to help the elderly in your neighborhood. Invite your neighbor’s teenagers to wash your car, cut the grass, or pull weeds as an opportunity to earn a little cash. The more we do for each other in a community the closer the community. This is instrumental to creating a safe and secure neighborhood.
Should we condemn bullies? No! We can only disallow the behavior of bullying. Many bullies were bullied! To end bullying, we need to create a loving and kind community, school, and environment that does not support negativity. We need to bring attention to the positive in our lives and community.
Each of us need to be a role model and set the tone. We need to act kindly and loving to one another. We need to engage others with love and compassion whenever possible. This means, blessing drivers who cut you off in traffic, engaging every person with a smile and kindness even when we have a valid complaint. In our own homes, when watching television (especially if we have children), we need to avoid negative comments; and avoid calling a commentator, a newscaster, a political candidate anything negative aloud. If we cannot say something positive, constructive or helpful, we need not say anything at all.
The habit of being positive, loving, and kind will carry into every aspect of our lives. I know that when I am in a lower emotional state, being positive can be hard for me; however, I know the more I deliberately practice being positive, loving and kind, the easier it will be for me to stay in upbeat and encouraging. I believe we all can work together to make our world more loving and positive; furthermore, I have discovered that the more I stay positive, the more positive I find the world. May love and kindness fill your heart at this moment and inspire you to inspire others. Let us all get involved, be positive, use loving words and be kind.
All rights reserved. ©2016 by A.K. Orobko