On Being Mindful

It was an anti-bullying day yesterday. People were supposed to wear pink to show their support. Some people complied, I was one of them. But after some thought and reading some tweets, I came to agree with an AntiBullying group I somehow ended up following on Twitter. One day, one big push, does not necessarily HELP the situation. People are all about it for that day, that one particular day, but does it stay with them? Do they carry it forward and make it part of their everyday life?

I also came to realize (though internally knew this all along) that bullies are everywhere. We push the whole anti-bullying thing in school and generally highlight the effects it has on younger kids and tweens/teens, but its rampant in sports and in workplaces all over the world. Sadly, parents are some of the worst offenders where sports is concerned. Yelling at coaches, other players, your own kids. Its disgusting. But often times you’ll see coaches picking on their own players. Don’t they realize that they won’t ever get the best out of these kids if thats the way they operate? Kids try harder when they think their work and effort is appreciated, recognized and respected. I’m always a little bit floored when I see these stories in the news, that the verbal outbursts in kids hockey arenas is allowed to continue. Its sad. And it sets the most dispicable example. We’re grown ups. We should know better.

Workplace bullies can be even worse. Undermining you, diminishing your ability to contribute, threatening your livlihood. I think some of them don’t even realize they are doing it. Saying NO loudly to something that you know is happening anyway, yet making you feel like you should run and change it just because THEY said so. Demanding things that aren’t necessarily rightfully thiers, making you feel like you should accommodate them because THEY want more. It may come across as simply just personalities clashing, or differences in opinion. But I think thats just the “grown up way” that we excuse shitty behavior.

I know we can’t wear pink every day, nor should we have to. But we SHOULD be mindful of how we treat others every day, mindful of how our words, our attitudes and our “personality clashes” may affect those around us. Just be mindful. It leads to being thoughtful. And THAT is something that can start at ANY age.

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