This was and still is my parental mantra. From the time my babies were born, through toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence to adulthood, hitting or hurting with words or hands was not allowed. Ever. I am still passionate about fostering non-violent, peace-loving, resolution oriented living all around me.
Why? Because I learned first hand about violence and abuse.
I was raised in a climate where bullying was standard behavior. Bullies ruled. Bullies survived. And if you wanted to survive, you were taught to beat up the bully. And so, to become a bully yourself. Yes, I was taught that fighting the bully was the right thing to do.
Maybe it still is.
I did fight, as my children grew up, to keep them safe. On the school bus. On the playground. I advocated for a strict no bullying policy. I insisted on a non-violent atmosphere. I refused to let my children be exposed to violent tv shows, video games, or movies and I monitored their internet use as well. I was the one mom who didn't let my son dress up as a violent cartoon character for Halloween, have a 'toy' gun or play 'war'. I did stand up to the pressure from other parents and society to give in to the pervasive culture of violence.
Violence is not a game.
It's saddens me to says this, but our society, our culture, our children are surrounded by it each and every day. When I grew up it was war and guns and fist fights on the playground. But now it has mutated and multiplied to invade everyday life. TV anchors spout expletives. Drivers rage on the way to work. Airline passengers threaten other passengers and flight crews over their political beliefs. And it's not enough to be a bully in person, it's expanded to social media. Kids get bullied on Facebook all the time.
And soon, there will be a cyber bully in the White House.
Tweeting threats, name calling, posting lies.
Bragging about abusing women.
This is classic bully behavior.
A 'bully' is just another name for a violent, aggressive person who uses intimidation both physical and verbal towards other people. People are afraid of bullies. And bullies use that fear to push other people around, get what they want at all costs. They don't care about anyone or anything but themselves.
And people, THIS IS OUR PRESIDENT?
No wonder there's more violence in cities and on our streets. People are very afraid and for a very good reason. He bullied his way through his campaign, firing and threatening his staff. He bullied his way through the debates, harassing a female candidate. He bullied the media when facts were reported against his wishes. He bullied people protesting against his election threatening to put them in jail. He is a bully. Plain and simple. But soon, he could become a very dangerous bully. All our lives, our children, our grandchildren are at stake here. We have everything to lose and he has everything to gain. He is not here to help you. He is here to take as much as he can for himself. As Americans, we have a right and an obligation to stand up against corruption and violence.
Don't let yourself be bullied. Stand up. Now.
People. Are. Not. For. Hurting.
We have to stop. Now. We have to look each other in the eye and see our reflection. See our fears and our dreams and our hopes in each other. Look for the truth, the real truth and value it above all else. See our wishes for freedom and safety and comfort and love.
It's so easy to get sidetracked by fear into greed and violence.
Especially by the bully soon to be President of the United States.
But we the people. You. And Me. We all want the right to pursue happiness. And we can all do it. One by one. Side by side. Working together. United. Standing up for the rights for all.
Next time you see or hear bullying in any shape or form,
Remember the mantra: People are not for hurting.