I’ve been thinking about something for a while. I’ve even mentioned it on a couple of your blogs. When I was in high school they had something called the, “peer counseling program.” Basically, teachers selected a cross-section of “influencers” from every clique or sphere in the school. There were members from the ‘jocks’ clique, the ‘burnouts,’ the smart ‘nerds,’ the ‘drama gleeks’ – you name the group and they were represented. I was in this program. What the teachers then did was they taught us actionable ways to stop bullying and dispel myths. Our biggest task was to go down into the grade school and teach the 12 year olds and under what “junior high would be like.” At the time there were rumors that you’d get to junior high and someone would try to sell you a “pool pass.” Trouble is there wasn’t any pool. We were there to soothe the kids’ fears. We did that and -bonus- I think all of us felt truly empowered.
So, in my opinion, the thing that stops kids from being mercilessly bullied is BEING NOSEY. WE’VE GOT TO BE NOSEY AND TEACH NOSEY.
Let me repeat that – be nosey and teach nosey. That’s what will win.
Now, before I get into it a bit more I’d like to make a disclaimer…
Disclaimer: For all the people out there who want to go on some kind of don’t-give-every-kid-a-trophy type rant, STOP IT. I’m not talking about mild bullying. I’m not talking about someone called you a name once or twice. That’s part of growing up. I’m talking about merciless taunting that never ends, continues while at home through the internet, and that makes kids take their own lives. I, for one, am heavily involved in the internet. I love it. I see the good it can do, but I also see the horror it can perpetuate. The internet is not one high school, “Sweet Mother is a SLUT” written on the bathroom wall that can be painted over…it’s “SWEET MOTHER IS A SLUT” written on the internet in forever-land. It’s indelible in a very serious way. Thankfully, I think I’m alive during the “sweet spot.” I grew up without the internet and get to enjoy it as a fair-minded adult. I can not, however, even imagine what a kid who is not policed or supported might have to endure at the thoughtless hands of some yahoos with a facebook page. It ain’t right. I am NOT talking about living in la-la, nothing ever goes wrong, land where every child gets an ice cream and a blue ribbon. I have no desire to turn real life into the Special Olympics. But, I DO believe in protecting those not-yet-fully-formed brains from hateful, forever, speak. I am a big advocate of that. NOW, WHERE’S MY FECKIN’ TROPHY!!
Back to the idea at hand. I listened to this CNN video yesterday about an 87 year old woman in Bakersfield, California. Apparently, the woman fell to the ground during mealtime at her assisted living, senior, facility. The woman that called 911 and everyone around her refused to administer CPR because it was against “company policy.”
Perhaps there’s more to the story. Perhaps, the woman was labelled a DNR (do not resuscitate), but let’s say she wasn’t. If that wasn’t the case, what you have here is a DEATH BECAUSE A BUNCH OF STUPID PEOPLE HAD A SERIOUS CASE OF I-DON’T-WANT-TO-GET-INVOLVED-ITIS.
When I listened to this tape, I wanted to scream, “Give me the feckin’ phone, you a**hole. I’ll give her CPR.”
But, I couldn’t. I wasn’t there. Oh, but others were. And that’s what bothers me. Take a listen for yourself. I’ll wait.
Contrast that moment with the experiment below conducted by a tv program at a restaurant in Texas. What happens is this – actors enter the restaurant and play two lesbian moms and their kids. They are a defacto, “alternative family” out for all the world to see. The waitress plays a homophobe. She loudly tells the family that she is “sickened” by them and their life choices. Eventually she asks them to leave.
What is absolutely fascinating is what happens when people INTERVENE.
We need to teach EVERYONE to intervene. Period. From a young age, every good and true person should be taught this. Nosisness is next to godliness. Busybodies are life’s “citizen watch.” Aren’t those the sayings as we know them? Well, they should be.
After all, as far as I am concerned, “I am my brother’s keeper.”
Hit my brother and you hit me. I’d say, be careful. Momma hits back.
What about you? Ever intervene? Ever walk away and regret it? Please tell me all about it in the comments section. There’s no judgement here.
Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish on the quest toward 365 consecutive posts. Join me by clicking “follow” at the top of the page.
You might also like: