Bullying: A Big Complicated Problem with Many Simple Solutions

If each one of us untangled one string at a time...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If I Was Asked to Give a TED Talk about Bullying

My daughter, Alice-Kate, just sent me this TED Talk with Ric Elias, who survived the Hudson River plane crash in January 2009. Like most TED Talks, it's thought provoking and it made me wonder what I would say in a TED Talk about bullying prevention.

My talk might start with something like this:

The pain of feeling insignificant is almost impossible to describe. People who fill whole do not understand this but people who have had love and respect withheld know exactly what this means.

It doesn't matter what you look like, how much education you've had, how many people physically surround you or how well you try to hide it. You can be an adult or a kid. It makes you feel small and the smaller you feel the less joy you have. Without joy there is very little reason to get up in the morning. Your life is diminished. This is when bullying leads to suicide...or at the very least, a slow dying inside.

Is it my imagination or are people less compassionate? When did we become unplugged? Withholding compassion can be terminal. It's torture.

Make no mistake, listening to someone with heartache today can save their life.

If you are a parent, this is your job. Do not let your child feel alone. And if you're the one withholding unconditional love or if you're showing favoritism, or not giving eye contact or criticizing them in front of others, than make no mistake, you're doing permanent damage. You are definitely not being the best parent you can be.

If you let a sibling, a spouse, a co-worker, a friend or just an acquaintance, suffer in silence, than you're not being the best human you can be.

My posts are usually more positive but I know what heartache can do. It's crushing. But help is only a kindness away. It's at the tip of your tongue and the warmth of your heart.

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