Monday, November 18, 2013

incomplete thoughts

 I had this post in my drafts, it's incomplete & a bit of a ramble, but it was what was on my mind during the week a couple school shootings took place and two teachers died.  I came to my blog this morning to vent emotions over a recent bullying/hazing incident turned hate crime directed towards a young African American in a local town.  I had a lot on my mind, but in the end it comes down to the last thoughts I'd drafted in the below...Love.   While reading an article in the paper about what happened in the town neighboring my own, something jumped out at me, the young man spoke of his brothers and sisters.  Those few quoted sentences say a lot about him and the Love in his heart.
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Two educators died this week...by the hands of adolescents.   WTF?
I think back on my preadolescence/adolescence.  Was I teased? Sure was. Did I tease? I did.  It roots from insecurity.  I was Awkward.  At that age, aren't we all?  I look at photos and my head seems misshapen, like an alien, my teeth like giant chiclets that barely fit beneath my lips. Goofy. Awkward. Adolescent.  I was a late bloomer, so I got a lot of tiny titty taunts.  I was fair skinned and blonde, albino was tossed around then and again. Add to my, growing up isn't easy bag, the name..Seija Saariaho.  Back in the 70's and 80's you didn't come across many unique names like you do today.  By the time I'd reached middle school I'd heard every variation you can think of, not all of them light hearted.  I've had plenty of time to develop the ability to react with grace and humor, to quell situations not worth the worry ..but growing up, my name was just another weight added to already difficult stages, it set me apart as different. as unique & that's not something  you tend to appreciate at an age when all you want to do is fit in.  I was shy & serious....until I wasn't. 

I think we throw around the term bully too loosely these days. Teasing, which I personally think is a normal part of growing up, has fallen under the bully cloak.  I'm not saying teasing should be tolerated and we shouldn't insist our children do the right thing all the time. I teach my daughter to be respectful of others, not to treat anyone in a way she wouldn't want to be treated or spoken to. To show compassion and to also share her feelings good or bad. ... but teasing..in my opinion, is Normal.  Parents are all too quick to make judgement & do the answering and dealing for the children and not teaching them the skills to confront and problem solve.  Parents need to do more listening with their ears and seeing with their eyes, offer resolutions and hang back.  In life we come to face many different personalities and the ability to deal with them appropriately is a key to happiness, it must be practiced with an approach that does not include violence.  To help them build their resilience in a world that isn't a Utopia and never will be.  We need to stop raising victims who seek revenge.  Arm our children with knowledge and the ability to react accordingly, to know the difference between a situation which needs to be addressed or brushed aside.  We must teach consideration and compassion, nurture empathy.  We need Love.  We all gotta just Love.

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