Monday, September 26, 2011
pick on apples not on people
We are our children's greatest teachers. Our children are sponges- absorbing our beliefs, our values and our perspectives. Their ears hear the thinly guarded meaning behind the tones of our voices. They drink in the words which are spun with either courtesy or laced with ill will toward others. They are open and impressionable; and, that which sticks sometimes stays forever- whether or not we intended for it to be there, and whether or not they truly understand. This is why I must always remind myself to speak kindly of others, to others, so that my children may in turn regard others with kindness. This is why I must continually try to paint a world of acceptance for all people- a world where my children will celebrate the uniqueness of each person- a world where they can thrive on the diversity and differences of their fellow human beings. It is my province to always remind them the of the power of their words- that those spoken with malice, with intent to harm- will nettle and leave scars. But, those words spoken in tones of empathy, compassion, and consideration may have the power to heal a hurting heart and bring one back from the brink of hopelessness. I must teach them to be just and fair and give them the strength to stand up for those who suffer from the injustices and prejudice of those who choose to live in the shadows of hatred and ignorance. It is a daunting task, especially when your child has been the target of a bully.
The tragic story of Jamey Rodemeyer incites me to lay blame on the young people who tormented him. It saddens me that they will not be held accountable for their actions, their words which drove a young man ( a child the age of my oldest son) to suicide. But, I suspect the lines of blame are tangled and reach back much further than this young generation. I cannot help but wonder what words the children who bullied Jamey Rodemeyer had absorbed at home, what misguided lessons stuck in their tender minds. If their greatest teachers had been more careful with their words might this tragedy have been averted?
Please click here to learn more about the petition asking Senate to Enact an Anti-Bullying Law (Jamey's Law).