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Reasons I Love That’s What I Am
There are so many things I love about the movie, That’s What I Am. My favorite part is when Mr. Simon writes this on the chalk board: Human Dignity + Compassion = Peace. Another wonderful part is when Stanley says, “I can’t make them be nice people and even if I did there would be others to take their place.” The movie also makes the point that success is about timing, opportunity, and choices.
Education for Real Change
I hope and pray more people will become tolerant and accepting of differences, but I cannot force them to do this. The best I can do is to continue to try to educate and pray that the message touches hearts. Words said because of fear are just words. Words said because of true change mean so much more.
I am grateful that this movie reminded me of this. I am also grateful for others who continue to understand that education is so much more powerful than any form of violence will ever be.
Gratitude for All Who Help
Thank God for all of those who try to make change by living good examples and by educating without cramming information down other’s throats. Thank God for the good teachers who truly inspire. May there be more of them in this world!
Word Press had what is your favorite word as a prompt a few days ago. I do not have a favorite word, but I do have a least favorite one. Well technically I guess it is a more than one word although they are all related to the same root word and meaning. The words are: tattling, tattle-tale, tattle. I think we should ban them from schools after second grade and replace them with informing, telling or reporting. The reason I say this is because bystanders are so important to the safety of victims of bullying, yet too many do not speak up for fear of being labeled a tattle-tale in addition to fearing the bully.
I think these words and their connotations discourage our children from reporting bullying. Kids do not want to be labeled as a tattle-tale. I suggest instead of using the word tattling, we talk to children about when to tell and when not to tell. Reporting someone who is harming others is sometimes necessary. For instance, if you see a child being beaten by others and no one is coming to the child’s rescue, you definitely need to find an adult to help. You also need to find a way to help when someone is repeatedly ganged up on by other children even if it is not physical.
This goes back to the post I wrote about bystanders which you can read if you missed it:
The Importance of Bystanders | dswalkerauthor.
Informing, telling, or reporting to protect someone has a better connotation than tattling. Although criminals might not like informers, most of the rest of us are grateful for them. This is especially true when they take murders and drug pushers off the street. This is not to imply that bullies are murders or drug pushers, but honestly what they do to the most vulnerable children is almost as bad.
I also still think the schools need to reward the bystander who does speak up with a tangible reward. Let me know what you think. When you were younger would you have been more likely to report someone being mean to another child if you knew you would not be called a tattle-tale, and instead might be rewarded and maybe even be someone’s hero?
Addendum: The video originally included in this post is no longer available. Basically it was a short segment by a group teaching children about reporting versus tattling.
Thankfully, I had parents who taught me to help people in trouble and yet, until my thirties I did not always do this. I have never left anyone wounded or bleeding, but there have been times when I have not stopped if I saw others were already at the scene. I mentioned in a previous blog that I also regret not speaking up to help a friend when someone bullied her on the school bus when I was in high school. It took me a while to really grow up, so I do get how hard it is for bystanders to step-up and help those in need, although I think it is time we worked to change the apathy within ourselves and others.
What I do not get is why in a time when bully prevention programs encourage bystanders to help, a mail carrier has to fight to try to get her job back after helping a young man who was in danger of being mauled by two pit bulls. That is just wrong! See this story: Mail Carrier Tries to Get Job Back After Helping Boy | NBC Philadelphia.
What I do get and love is bystanders who do help and bloggers who post their stories and helpful information. Read this post: Tips for the Bully Bystander « Bullying Stories.
Warning the next link is disturbing, so I understand if you choose to skip it.
This link includes two examples of how callous people are capable of being: The Bystander Effect: Alive and Well, Page 2 of 2 – Associated Content from Yahoo! – associatedcontent.com.
The last two links are information from a teacher’s site about the Holocaust. I am posting them because I really fear for our nation when bystanders do not speak-up and when I see a tolerance of meanness while kindness and acceptance of differences are seemingly MIA in some of our school age children.
A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust-Victims.
A Teachers Guide to the Holocaust-Bystanders.
Do you speak-up when you see someone being mistreated? Do you encourage your children to speak-up too?
From the Land Where Palm Trees Sway ©dswalkerauthor
From the land where palm trees sway, I want to share with you my dream for the future, as I wish each of you much peace and joy during the holiday season and throughout the coming year. I hope and pray 2011 is a year of change, where people make an honest effort to be more open minded and really try to educate themselves about differences by reading books like Delightfully Different or similar stories that explain autism spectrum and/ or other differences.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and so do I. I dream of a world where bystanders, parents, teachers, counselors, principals, and all people stand up to bullies and their parents and let them know it truly is time for change. I dream of a world that is bully free. I dream of a world where kindness is rewarded and more highly desired than a football championship. Kindness, respect, understanding and acceptance should have a greater value in our society. In the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone.”