Tomorrow we open our latest production at school… The Bully Plays. The Bully Plays are a collection of 10 minute plays created to inspire the end of bullying. However, I have to admit that I am confused as to why this is an issue. Whatever happened to “The Golden Rule?” Has the Golden Rule gone out of style?
“Treat others the way you want to be treated,” How many times have I heard that in my life? It was a lesson my mom taught me before I even got to school. I heard this lesson although elementary school, junior high, and a bit in high school. Throughout my entire life I have always thought of it and tried my best to live it.
Sadly, as I have grown older I have noticed that the world has gotten meaner? Back in my youth I only needed to worry about when recess was going to be. In middle school I started to worry about “fitting in” and whether I was “cool,” but it wasn’t all consuming. In high school guys worried about being masculine and girls worried about being pretty.
I guess things began to change because we didn’t want to be bullied by our peers. Somehow we lost a sense of real respect for each other. Somewhere along the way, as we sped down the road of life, the standard my mom taught me has been thrown out the window, and possibly squashed when the rubber hit the road and rolled right over it.
I am in the schools everyday, nearly all day along. Meanness has increased! If I thought I was conforming to the norm back in the 70’s and 80’s to fit in, I was living it up! The kids today need to dodge a whole new level of social rules! Meanness is out of control! Have you seen social media lately? Headlines? Meanness reigns! Meanness seems to rule in our words and in our actions. I don’t need to point out the many heartless, cruel, demeaning, vengeful, and hateful attitudes displayed in our school, communities, and country.
As long as there have been stronger and weaker people in this world, there have been bullies. It has always been wrong. Kids need to be taught by their parents that this behavior can and will not be tolerated. This lesson needs to be reinforced by all members of society.
What happened to the Golden rule? You know, treating others the way we, ourselves, want to be treated, something that should guide your actions and behavior. Now, instead of families, neighborhoods, and communities teaching and enforcing the Golden Rule, we need government laws to tell us that taking advantage of someone who is weaker that you is wrong. Now we need schools to try to squeeze in some reading and math when they aren’t picking up the slack of society in teaching kids how to treat others with respect. There is no way to keep up. Apparently this rule has been thrown out the window a long time ago.
Could you imagine what would happen if the Golden Rule were the law of the land? Maybe we could dig our way out of the mess we have created for ourselves. We have created a deep hole of hatred and ignorance, of hostility towards anyone we have pegged as “different” and doesn’t “understand” us. What the heck? Why did we let this happen? Why did we quit using the Golden Rule?
The only way out of this “bullying” epidemic is to work together, to put our differences aside and become neighbors and friends with people despite where they come from and what they believe. Dude! It’s okay to be different! Differences are what adds color and texture to life. Why are we hating when we could be celebrating differences?
What if we started a movement? A movement of doing to others as we want them to do to us? A kindness movement?
Would it make a difference in the classroom? I think so.
Would it make a difference on the road ways, the stores, and the shops? I think so.
Would it bring communities together? I think so.
Would it bridge the gap between politics, religions, and races? I think so.
Would it make a difference in our relationships? I think so! What if we taught our kids the Golden rule and practiced in front of them?
What if we decided to be the change we want to see?
We would start a revolution!
Perhaps we need to stop feeling entitled to everything. News flash… nothing really falls into your lap. We need to step up and take action. We need to support one another and believe that anything is possible. It’s a good day to return to our roots… return the Golden Rule!
It won’t be easy. We will need to choose every day kindness over revenge. I am well aware that my selfishness can often get the better of me. However, I am willing to try! I am willing to put the Golden Rule at the top of my priority list and I am willing to try my best to live it.
Seriously! The public schools are dealing with many issues long before getting down to the business of learning. From making sure that kids get to eat to making sure they have school supplies, to helping kids learn the fine art of coping skills and acceptable social behavior, the school has become the where we must start this campaign to end bullying. Face school, school has adopted the role of safety net for society. Thus, we have spent an entire semester working on The Bully Plays.
It is my hope that viewing The Bully Plays will encourage parents, educators and community member to come together and re-instate the Golden Rule. It is my hope that families and parents will come together to view these plays and then play a key role in preventing and responding to buying. It is my hope that viewing The Bully Plays will help people recognize the warning signs that a loved one may be experiencing bullying. They could be bullied, bullying others, or witnessing bullying. It is my hope that The Bully Plays will inspire kids to ask for help. I hope that the performances of The Bully Plays will help educate others, teaching them what bullying is and what it is not. Understanding is the first step in forming a plan to prevent and respond to bullying. It is my hope that these performances will help to open a line of communication for those involved in bullying making it easier for them to tell someone what happened.
As an adult in my community, as a parent, and as a participant in the educational system, I know that I can play a role in ending bullying and making a safe learning environment for all kids.
I can make a difference.
I can live by the Golden Rule, popular of not.
I can start a “new” trend!