Last week I went to the Cinema to see Wonder. A fabuous Movie based on a book by R.J Palacio. This book is all about bullying of a young Boy who was born with facial deformities. I read the book prior to the Movie and thought it was a good thing to do on a hot day in the school holidays. I also thought it would be good for my children to see the Movie and to then discuss the themes in the Movie. What I did not anticipate was how I was going to feel watching it.
My biggest fear as a parent is that one of my children would be a Bully. No parent wants that or for their own child to be on the receiving end. When I was 11 in year 6 at primary school, I was at a sleep over at what I thought were my friends house for a birthday party. I can’t write down what these grils did to me here as that is too confrontational but least to say my heart sunk that someone could be so mean and violting to someone else at such a young age. I did not tell anyone because I was scared of what they would do to me and I was embarassed to be on the receiving end. It was such a blow to my confidence. I wanted to ask the parent to call my mum and go home but I did not want to make a scene or act that it had offended me. To this day I still wonder what in the world could posess someone to be so mean to another. Why me?
As I sat in the movie theatre watching this Movie, it really highlighted for me that there needs to more more awareness of bullying. Parents need to step up, schools need to be consistent and not wash it over because it is not ok. As for workplaces, like a family behaviour is learnt from that which is modelled to them. The behaviour of those in management or seniour roles will be reflected through the whole organisation.
For many years I was fearful of these girls. I went to high school and did not continue schooling with many of these girls and for years struggled with being accepted and being good enough. But now I know that what they did was more about them than me. I hope they have found happiness.
Random Act of Kindness day was mentioned on my morning run last week. This is promoted at different times in different countries and I can’t help but notice the similarity in the letters to RUOK? What if we were all kind every day, would we even need the RUOK day? Life is hard and not everyone can be a captain of a team or win a prize and life should not be about that. Life is about meaningful relationships and connection.
Choose your words wisely. A saying I share with my children often is ‘quick to think and slow to anger’. Most arguements and disagreements I believe are often the result of poor communication and assumptions. If you have not heard the saying don’t assume- you will make as ass out of you and me, remind yourself of this one.
We are all good enough. Christmas is often a time of reflection and this year I have done a lot of reflecting before hand. Life is a journey, love your family and learn to listen because that truly is the way to better communication.
Choose Kindness and have a Merry Christmas