Life? Do We Learn From Our Past or Are We Condemned to Repeat It? 2

The Quote

Most of us know some variation of the famous line by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Yet, we keep repeating past mistakes again and again.

Those We Admire

Most of us admire people like His Holiness, the fourteen Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others who showed the world that there are gentler solutions to problems facing society. So, why do we continue to support meanness by failing to speak up when we see it and when we know it is wrong? How can we teach our children to learn from their mistakes if we fail as citizens of the world to learn from ours?

Mistakes

You may be asking yourself, “What mistakes?” Only you can answer for yourself. Let your heart be your guide.

I firmly believe mistakes are our best teachers. I hope so anyway since I have made more than I like. However, this post is about our future, our children.

The Way We Fail

We are failing the next generation when we say things like:

  • What’s the big deal?
  • Bullying has been around forever.
  • Kids will be kids.
  • That kid had it coming!
  • That kid is strange!
  • Don’t play with that kid!
  • I don’t like their parents.

or

When we say:

  • The school is responsible.
  • The parents are responsible.
  • I blame the Internet.
  • I blame social media.
  • That kid just needs a spanking!
  • That kid should be expelled!
  • Those parents should be sued!

or

When we are silent.

The Truth

The truth is everyone in society plays a part. Look around you! Work toward becoming a more compassionate person and setting a better example for our children by speaking up when your heart says:

  • This does not feel right!
  • Why would this be okay?
  • Should we really do that?
  • What happened to liberty and justice for all? That is what it says right? Not liberty for the majority, or just some, or just the ones who are like us?

Make a Difference

Refuse to believe those who say:

  • What can I do?
  • I’m just one person!
  • No one will listen to me!
  • What is the point?

Here’s what you can do if you do not trust your own voice:

  • Support those in your community who speak out if you are not comfortable speaking out yourself.
  • Contact someone you admire who is speaking out and let them know that you are grateful for their voice.
  • Tell your children why it is important to speak out and to back up other children who speak up if they do not feel they can do it themselves.

Inspiring Quotes From Those We Admire

Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  ~Nelson Mandela

There is no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. ~Nelson Mandela

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.  ~Mother Teresa

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.  ~Mother Teresa

Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’  ~Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963

Is Aloha State in Denial Regarding High Teenage Suicide Rate and Bullying? 2

Da’Nile is more than a river in Egypt! It is a common saying although I added the Hawaiian lingo Da’ for the. Despite support from many around the country, the movie, Bully is only showing in one small theater on Oahu and the media coverage here is appalling. This is despite the fact that a 2008 study showed that Hawaii ranks high in teen suicides and PBS Hawaii noted in 2010 that Hawaii teenagers attempted suicide at more than twice the national average.

The seemly lack of response to Bully and to the victims of bullying by some in our country is disturbing, but it is especially so in Hawaii. Does the media assume that when the DOE released their anti-bullying program in October that this magically solved the problem? I cannot place my finger on the cause. It could be the fact that too many see that the movie does not give solutions to the problem and many have problems with this.

I did too until I realized how much information the Bully Project put together on their site to help solve the problem. I am not linking you directly because the site uses index flash and takes a while to load. It it better for you to go to the site directly. Go to http://thebullyproject.com/ and click Get Tools & Resources to find a wealth of information for parents, students, educators, and advocates that includes guides to help teachers and others use the movie as a starting point for teaching students kindness and empathy. There is much more information too about setting up school programs to address the problem.

Apathetic behavior and failure of those in charge of our schools to accept accountability is a big part of the bullying problem in my humble opinion. It is the thing that still angers me when I think of what my daughter went through. It is a greater danger than anything else. It is only when teenagers feel all hope is lost that they turn to suicide, and it is the apathetic attitudes of the adults in our schools that lead them down this path.

I cannot get my daughter’s former school to apologize to her anymore than I can get others to understand this. Still there is hope. Thankfully there are others who are making a difference. The Dalai Lama visited one local school during his recent visit and honored them for playing a part in making the world a better place. Read about it: Aloha, Dalai Lama – MidWeek.

I have so much more to say about the movie, Bully, but you’ll have to wait until May fourth when you can read about it at Special-Ism.com. I urge each of you to see the movie and visit the site.

“Bully” 3

I was first in line to see it this morning. Initially, it looked like I would be the only one there, but thankfully a few more showed up.

Kindness Matters - Photo of My Car Magnet ©DelightfullyDifferentLife

Kindness Matters! It’s just one of the take away messages of the movie, Bully. It is the message that the kids need to get and that some are getting as they join in the cause to help prevent bullying and to support the victims.

There are more important messages for the adults!

  • Blaming the victim for not telling you is not acceptable especially if you gave them empty promises of protection in the past while they continued to be tormented.
  • Scolding them for not forgiving their tormentor is not helpful either.
  • Apathetic attitudes regarding the severity of the problem are not helpful.
  • Excusing meanness that does not result in bloody noses or broken bones is also inexcusable.

We see teachers, parents, principals, vice principals, law enforcement, and bus drivers letting kids down again and again. One child takes matters into her own hands and threatens her tormentors with a real gun. FYI one boy had threatened to sexually assault this teenager, so it is not like she had not been threatened. I do not condone taking a gun to school, but I do understand why she did it, and I found the sheriff to be offensive when he said that she had no cause for this action because she had not been physically assaulted. He thinks she should be locked up for a hundred years despite the fact that the gun wasn’t fired, and she had never been in trouble previously. You’ll find out her fate if you watch the movie.

I will be writing a longer review for Special-Ism for publication on the fourth of May, so I am not going to say more about the movie itself right now. I merely hope schools will encourage their staff and students to see the movie.