|Maybe we should rethink our position....|
I'm not so sure this is a good thing to post and preach. When I was much younger, folks seemed to have thicker skins. We were taught, "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but bad words cannot hurt you." Operative word CANNOT.
The pendulum has swung to the extreme opposite of that childhood jingle. Now, everyone can be hurt by anything. As an educator and a therapist, I see young folks weakened by what I believe is our overcompensation. Now everything hurts us. If you look past me, I think you think I am invisible. If you say, "Hey, girl," I may sue you 'cause today I don't feel like a girl. Don't smirk. Don't think this isn't happening. I'm a practitioner studying somatic healing and I believe I've come upon a remedy for a lot of ills in our society.
Mind you, I am not saying all the ills; however, we can teach ourselves and our children that we cannot ever control what others say and do. We can pass laws, put alleged criminals in jail, and chastise them, but we still cannot control their actions and words. I remember something called a police state. I remember something called 1984. I remember fearing governments that controlled the populace's words and deeds. Are we getting close to that today?
Of course, we should teach manners and polite behaviors. It is even nice when we do so in the arena of a church. But even non-churchgoers can teach kindness, patience, and love. We just have to rid ourselves of this control issue.
So what is holding us back? Fear. Ugly fear. Anger. Intense anger. Selfishness. It's me, baby, just me! Do as I say or I will crush you. Feel familiar? Do you recognize some of your family and/or friends or the media and their perceived intentions of control? We can't control them either, but we surely can control how we REACT to this reverse bullying. It is time to swing that pendulum back to common sense.
I remember once (I should be ashamed for admitting this) kicking my sweet little cocker spaniel because she dared to growl and try to bite me. As a young and impulsive little girl, I thought to hit her first before she dealt the first blow. I didn't hit hard and she looked at me in surprise, but a few minutes later, we were cuddling again in the metal swing for two in my back yard. She had unconditional love for me and didn't let my brief moment of anger change how she felt. Some may claim things are different now. They do not have to be different.
We need to forgive, if only to assuage our souls of our pain. Once we forgive, the blame and punishment is up to someone or something else. We don't own that pain. It is gone. Forgiveness does not mean that the perpetrator has done nothing wrong. It just means it will not ruin our lives. Period. I am talking about every day occurrences, not major crimes and extreme bullying. If we don't wake up, fellow world members, we will find ourselves in a new kind of hell - one that we did not foresee (well, some of us have).
The lesson for me is to be a good role model, teach others kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness, and to love those who do not know what they do. Whatever you do today, be sure to incorporate forgiveness and love into your life. You won't regret it. Maybe, just maybe, your aches and pains will also begin to dissipate. You never know until you try.