What we do in these situations defines our characters,
our communities, and our destiny.
DeRay Mckesson, in On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope, reminds us of the power a bully holds when we fail to confront the bully.
- “The bully aims to become the center of your everything.”
- “Bullies don’t just happen, they are enabled.”
- “Silence too easily becomes acceptance.”
- “The bully must be confronted intentionally, his impact named and addressed.”
- “If we don’t have a vision for our desired future, how can we plan to achieve it? … We must all imagine the block without a bully, otherwise we cannot get there.”
A few years ago, on this blog I wrote about courage. I will repeat a part of that post below as it applies to bullies, speaking out and up, paying attention, and creating a more compassionate and just future. You can read that entire blog post here.
Samuel Adams, one of the leaders for the American War for Independence said,
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
And he went on to fight against immense odds for a cause he was willing to sacrifice his life for.
While most of us will never be in a situation like Adams, we still have every-day situations that can allow us to step up, to ignore the fear, and move forward. Consider the following examples and how they embody courage:
- Stepping up for someone (or yourself) who is the victim of a bully (I recently heard a young girl singing a song about how she helped a school friend back down a bully).
- Standing up to workplace bullies even when a job (your job) might be on the line.
- Speaking up for a just cause when you are a lone voice in the wilderness.
- Bouncing back from a setback and continuing to move toward your goal, even as others may attempt to minimize or dismiss your efforts.
- Befriending the unpopular kid in class or co-worker in the office.
- Pointing out that gossiping about someone who is not present is, in fact, cowardly. And you lead the way by walking away from the gossip.
We have opportunities each day. We can ask for help. We can collaborate. We can seek the higher ground. We can engage in little acts of courage that we may not even be aware of when we do them. And, then, there may be other opportunities that we do not take advantage of.
What we do in these situations defines our characters, our communities, and our destiny.
Make it a great week. And H.T.R.B. as needed.
Video Recommendation for the Week
Martin Luther King reminded us that “a man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right” in this 1965 speech excerpt.
Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®