During the press lead up to and the duration of Hurricane Irma, I heard countless city commissioners, sheriffs and mayors ask people to be “patient” at the gas pumps and to be “nice.“ When I heard this, I wondered why this could not be an expectation. Why is it that so many people aren’t patient and nice that it calls for a reminder? What was missing from their childhood that was not missing from the lives of people who are patient?
People who believe they are entitled to service faster or sooner than anyone else were not taught empathy for those in the same boat or even less better off. Empathy was not reinforced altogether or was not reinforced consistently. People who cannot empathize do not have respect for others.
We can stand here and blame all sorts of psychological and environmental factors on the lack of empathy and respect, but we must stop the blame game and realize the damage is done within prior generations. We must pick up our bootstraps and work hard to build a foundational generation of non-bullies. This starts with our children now. Children are sponges ready to soak in all information. Let us pour only good values into their lives, so that we may stomp out bullying once and for all.
Do not underestimate the value of your part in this venture. If everyone gets involved, it gives credence to the message that a culture of non-bullies creates a culture of peace. What a wonderful world this could be if we did not have to remind people to be patient and nice. C’mon! Hop on board the Anti-Bullying Express!