Monthly Peace Challenge Love Thy Enemy (Dear ______, I’m Really Trying …) 5

Dear _______,
I’m really trying to believe you have changed. I see signs that you have, but I am skeptical where both of you are concerned. I have believed in you in the past only to watch you crush my daughter’s spirit. She will be okay in the long run. I know because she is stronger than she seems. After all, she is my daughter.

Still, forgiving those who almost destroyed her is not an easy task especially when she has never received a sincere apology from either of you. One of you flatly refused to give her what she needs to heal more quickly. The other one tried to convince others that she made things sound worse than they really were. I know this is not true and so do you if you are honest with yourself.

Yet, I also know that she and I need to forgive you to heal ourselves even if your changes are only surface deep. Perhaps that is the only change you are capable of making right now. I do not know. I am merely grateful that you are both out of our lives.

The most important thing I have learned from our experience is that we are all connected. Of, course, I know we do not appear to be as connected as either one of you, but in this web of life, we are. That is why I will continue to ask God to help me to learn to truly forgive you, and I pray you both continue to grow in true understanding of others. I especially pray that you no longer perceive anyone as not worthy of you.

With aloha,

Sue

A New Way of Teaching (And Learning) 2

A New Way of Teaching (And Learning)

Yay! The new headmaster is bringing change!

Glad they are seeing the light, although I would not call them the leader for teaching empathy. They are not the first school on this island to understand the need for change, nor are they the first nationally. Still it is nice that the new headmaster has experience with the importance of empathy, and I do wish him much success as he implements these changes!

I am grateful for every person and school that finally gets it!

More…

Reflections: Where Do I Begin? 10

The last two days I have sat in this swing trying to decide how much I want to share with you to explain why I have been MIA. I realize no matter what I say it will not fully explain everything. It is impossible to see through someone else’s eyes or to completely understand their feelings no matter how much they share.

We recently passed the one year anniversary of leaving my daughter’s former school. We also passed the one year anniversary of my brother’s first surgery due to his cancer, and it has been one year since my fall and subsequent lumbar compression fracture. We are all three still facing challenges. Yet, we are all on the road to recovery.

Those who read M’s blog know she wrote a letter to her former school on her blog around the time of the anniversary. I am so proud that she chose to do so. She released her frustration and is continuing to work toward her goals although overcoming bullying is not easy.

Her anniversary coincided with the release of Lee Hirsch’s movie Bully in local theaters. Those who have been reading my blog know that the poor response it received in Honolulu disappointed me. I sincerely hope the schools will do a better job once it is on video.

I am especially disappointed that M’s former school made no effort to take the students to see it as I encouraged them to do, but they are making baby steps toward their bullying problem according to the chaplain and the elementary school assistant dean. I know both of them have their hearts in the right place and they both still express concern for M.

The high school dean is a different story, but I will not get into that here other than to say that M. still deserves an apology from the school and my request for this has fallen on deaf ears. Still, I will not give up. A new headmaster will be arriving in July, and I hope he will see that giving my daughter a formal apology is the right thing to do.

My brother had his fourth surgery recently, but he is on the mend and hopefully in a few weeks he will have his last surgery.

I was 80% better until I had a bad virus a few weeks ago. Now I am starting over with my walks and my exercises. I have faith I will get back to 80% since it really is only reconditioning and not another injury. I am still aiming for at least 90%, if not 100%. I am taking care of myself as I promised when I joined the Oxygen Mask Project.

Overall, life is good. M. is interacting with her friends again. I had a fabulous mother’s day. M. cooked my breakfast. My hubby and son and I went to see The Avengers. M. saw it the day before with her friend. Hubby even cooked lobster for dinner, so yes, life is good and I am still grateful.

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.