The Importance of Bystanders 11

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?

Overcoming Fear for a Cause 7

Orchids - CopyThe Word Press topic of the day is, “What is something you never believed…”  I have always been the wall flower preferring to hide by the rock like these orchids.  I never wanted the spot light, and I have done everything I could to avoid being noticed.  Therefore, I would never have believed I would be trying to get media exposure.   Thankfully in 1992 I graduated Magna Cum Laude from a Jesuit university that focused on public speaking along with writing skills, so I knew I was capable of speaking in a public forum.  However, it has never been something I felt compelled to do. 

The people who chose to bully my child and the parents who did not realize how serious this was forced me to overcome my own desire to stay out of the spot light.  They started me on a mission to change the climate of meanness in our schools and in our society.  This adult, who might have otherwise only spoken to close friends and family about my views, is now working to get others to listen. 

Last night for the first time I found myself on a hour long radio call-in program reminding myself to breathe and working to overcome my nervousness for a cause.  This cause is that important to me.  I want to get others to understand the importance of helping those on the spectrum, to ensure girls get the correct diagnosis sooner, and to ensure they and others have a safe environment for learning.  The show should be available via podcast soon and I will post the link when it is available.

Kung Hey Fat Choy 2011 7

Welcome the Year of the Rabbit!

LionHawaii’s population is approximately one third Chinese according to one of the writers for Examiner.com although that number includes those who are of mixed race like my children.  Therefore, like many homes in the islands we celebrate Chinese New Year.  Three years ago I even learned to make gau, a sticky brown sugar sweet treat made with rice flour to bring sweetness to the new year and help the family to stick together.  My mother-in-law makes the jai , a Chinese vegetarian dish for celebration of  the new lunar year.   

I am grateful for my multicultural family and that we live in Hawaii where children grow up respecting multiple cultures.  The Lion belongs to my son.  My children used to pretend to perform a lion dance and ask for money from us when they were younger.  Traditionally feeding the lion money is supposed to bring one luck and wealth.  Now our lion is mostly for decoration although my two still like getting money.  Lia see is the custom of giving lucky money in special red envelops to unwed children as a symbol of good luck and wealth.  For more about symbolism and Chinese New Year celebrations you may read: Symbolism holds sway for Chinese New Year – Hawaii Features – Staradvertiser.com.  And/or Life is Good| Changing Times blog, staradvertiser.com | Honolulu, Hawaii.

May you and yours have a year of harmony, joy, health, and prosperity!

Project Gratitude 4

Today I am grateful for so many things.  My son, who was home sick earlier this week, is well and no one else in the family is ill.  My husband returned safely from a business trip.  I live in the state with the best weather in the nation, and humpback whales visit us every winter.  I have two wonderful dogs.  I got to participate in a whimsical blog hop yesterday and I still get to read more fun responses from my blog friends this weekend.  

I hope all of my wonderful friends both in and out of blogland have a wonderful weekend!