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Just be nice!

 ~ Mary Baker

Bullying has to stop. Too many people are getting hurt by people who are hurting! Let's have a virtual round table where we can come up with solutions.
~ Nancy Hollander

When I was young, bullying was about school yard fights. Now, kids are using guns to fight back. Instead of bullets, I believe we need to have a place where kids can talk out their frustrations and be heard.
~ Jack Fredricks

You never learn from others by intimidating them.
~ Tom Green

Every time someone stands up to a bully, they stand up for their life.
~ C. D. W.

My BULLYosophy starts with the assertion that bullying, although highly undesirable for all parties, is a circumstance that is neither a good thing, nor a bad thing. It's an important thing, though, to know.

Self-worth, on the other hand, is an experience. Self-worth can be reflected back to anyone, as his/her experience, of virtually anything. Even bullying. Because experiences are not dependent upon any particular set of circumstances.

We all desire certain experiences. Experiencing our desires is being fully alive; experiencing scarcity, in any form, is being half-alive. Or worse, if we don't spread the word.

Does it not appear inarguable that the circumstances with which our experiences are most commonly associated are their source? That we should go find better circumstances if we wish to improve our experiences?

Thus we teach each other that experiencing desires, like safety, requires the correct circumstances. "Not getting bullied" is, of itself, actually a circumstance: a circumstance oceans more desirable than "getting bullied," yet a circumstance nonetheless. And, by making a circumstance (such as "not getting bullied") the desire, rather than the experience ("safety"), we unwittingly take all the power out of everyone's hands.

Take power out of everyone's hands? When I talked to people about being bullied, I perceived a response like "Greg, you just need to stand up, ignore, inform, befriend, turn your cheek, wait it out, toughen up, or any other circumstance that could be reasonably connected to my desired experience of safety." Maybe that's just what I heard - but it is what I heard.

So, yes, take power out of everyone's hands. All those techniques to create the right circumstance ("not being bullied) failed us. And I am still amazed, given that all experiences are self-generated and self-adjustable, at all the circumstance-dependent techniques constantly being regurgitated.

Why does trying to use a circumstance ("Not Being Bullied") to have a desired experience ("safety") seemingly always fail? Because new circumstances cannot reliably create new experiences. Only new beliefs can create new experiences.

You see, your beliefs transform every circumstance into their reflections so that every circumstance morphs into exactly what you need to experience that belief. This is true for your limiting current beliefs also: even your limiting beliefs transform every circumstance into exactly what you need to experience those limitations.

That is not to say, of course, that proximity to an angry child, so deeply afraid and powerless that he/she is prone to hurt those around him/her, doesn't increase the probability for an undesirable experience such as "Not Being Safe." Yet a higher probability still doesn't equal certainty; we've all seen certain experiences beat the odds. Whether it's the dirt-poor wanderer whose predominant experience is joyful and abundant freedom or the morose millionaire who sinks deeper into experiences of loneliness and lack of fulfillment even as his fortune grows sequestered in a cold, dark vault.

My BULLYosophy is: Help a child change his/her beliefs about his/her self-worth, growing toward alignment with his/her desires to experience "Safety." This won't necessarily change the circumstance of "Being in the proximity of a frightened and powerless child capable of extracting vengeance for his/her experiences of suffering and scarcity", but it is the only reliable way to give a child influence over his/her experiences despite such proximity.

With enough practice, my BULLYosophy can allow a child impressive influence over his/her desired experiences.

In this manner, my BULLYosophy is incredibly empowering, effective, and requires no specific circumstances. It doesn't blame the victim; it empowers all parties to take responsibility for the things they're in control of and also allows the greatest influence upon their experiences. Because, when you strip everything else away, we are always creating our own experiences. And when we learn how to create the ones we desire, we do so on the four pathways to abundance:

1.    Raise your beliefs, one at a time, into alignment with a desired experience.

2.    Always be completely emotionally honest, no matter what.

3.    Express to learn whatever you need in order to adopt two different truths.

4.    Listen to learn whatever you need in order to adopt two different truths.

There is tremendous wisdom to be explored while traveling each pathway.

Thank you, Deborah. Like all great leaders, you don't lead by always being the one who is "right"; you lead by helping us be "right." And, of course, the beauty of learning from someone like you is that my truth has grown exponentially since I began hearing yours.

The Self-Worth Initiative has more than my attention, it has my heart. I'm honored to have this opportunity to lend my energy to this project.

~ Greg Kuhn, Bestselling Author of Why Quantum Physicists Play "Grow a Greater YOU" , Author Greg Kuhn is a professional educator and a futurist, specializing in framing new paradigms for the 21 Century living.

1 - When we trust that everything will be OK, we walk with confidence and we don’t believe the negative things anyone could say to us.

2 - Feeling happy makes us want happiness for everyone around us.

~ Mariza B

No one wants to really talk about self-worth, because, secretly, we don't have it. I don't have it. It's easier to look at what someone else is doing wrong so that we won't see what's missing in us. Sad. But, true.

~ Anonymous

I don't have the solution to bullying, but I wish I did. I have two young daughters who tell me that they are getting bullied all the time and social media bullying is vicious. Deborah, I think you may be right. Maybe we all have it backwards. I hope enough people care...

~ Jill Meyers

It's all about focusing on teaching kids to be empowered rather than giving power and emphasis to the bullies! YEAH!

~ Michele Gust

The gift of self-esteem

By Donna Carbone

Mark Twain is credited with having said that “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” He was referring to self-esteem, or rather, the lack of it.

Self-esteem is the body armor we wear against the challenges of the world. The development of self-esteem begins in infancy and continues throughout our lives. To develop properly, self-esteem requires us to experience both joy and sorrow. For parents, allowing their children to feel that sorrow is the most challenging part of child rearing.

How much easier it would be if self-esteem could be bought in a store or on e-bay. Unfortunately, there are no magic pills or vitamin supplements to hide in our children’s ring dings and chicken fingers. In truth, we don’t need to do anything so extreme because there really is nothing complicated about instilling our children with good feelings about themselves. All we have to do is let them be kids.

How simple that sounds but how difficult that is to do. All moms and dads struggle with finding the right way to parent. We all know that love is the number one requirement for raising happy, healthy off spring. But, once we move beyond the obvious, the waters are murky.

It’s hard not to pick up our children each time they fall down - physically or emotionally. It’s hard not to fill their heads with false praise. It’s really hard to let them find their own way in the world – bumps and bruises to knees and egos included. No kid is perfect. There will always be someone smarter, stronger, funnier, taller, thinner, more athletic, more agile, prettier, handsomer… the list is endless. Telling our children otherwise is harmful.

Considering the state of our economy and the realization that only a small percentage of students will actually ascend to the highest rungs on the ladder of success, it is understandable that parents want to give their children every advantage possible. However, here is where “too much of a good thing” becomes detrimental.

We cannot prepare our sons and daughters to face the real world by protecting them from it. Buffering our children from the reality that everyone fails at something some time instills a sense of failure because no one gets through this life without tasting the bitterness of defeat.

For many years now, the most prevalent demonstration of faux success has been the distribution of trophies to every player on every sports team at the end of the playing season – every player on both the winning and losing teams.

I’m not opposed to recognition but telling children they are all winners when they’re not – filling their heads with false praise -- is destructive.

When a child is part of a losing endeavor, the time is perfect to talk about the realities of life. Losing a game does not reflect negatively on a child unless we, the parents, show or verbalize disappointment in their performance. Losing allows for a discussion of actual capability versus dreams and desires. Being the best hitter on the high school baseball team does not guarantee being the best hitter on the college team or making it to the majors. Big fish/little pond. Little fish/Pacific Ocean. Losing is not a bad thing. Losing builds character. Parents make losing shameful. Shame on parents.

Kids are finely tuned to react to the words they hear. Those who know their strengths and weaknesses have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They smile more readily and find greater enjoyment in life. Kids with high self-esteem are realistic and optimistic.

By contrast, kids with low self-esteem suffer from anxiety. They are frustrated by even the smallest challenge. Those who think poorly of themselves have difficulty problem solving. They are more inclined to think “I can’t” every time they are faced with a new situation.
I recently read about a school in Massachusetts where children in physical education classes jump rope without the benefit of ropes. The thinking is that no child should feel belittled by tripping or falling. Heaven forbid that they hear the laughter of their peers or feel the burn of red-cheeked embarrassment.

Is it any wonder that experts in human resources view recent college graduates as egocentric, weak willed, soft hided and ill prepared for what lies ahead of them?

Researchers in the field of child psychology strongly suggest that we let our kids feel bad sometimes. They will learn compassion. Let them fail so that when they succeed, they will be filled with a sense of pride they justly deserve.

A few years ago, I became a mentor with the Mental Health Association’s “Listen to Children” Program. Every Tuesday I spent an hour with two middle school aged boys, whom I grew quite fond of. When I joined this program, I told myself I would not get emotionally involved. Perhaps, the Tin Man could have remained aloof. He, after all, didn’t have a heart. I, on the other hand, failed miserably.

For my two young charges, low self esteem was the breakfast cereal they ate each day. Before their feet hit the floor in morning, they were already expecting to fail.

I came to realize that part of my job was to teach my boys to like themselves. My job was to give them confidence in themselves. My job was to convince them that, although they would slip and fall occasionally, they were not failures. Getting emotionally involved was also part of the job.

Each week, these boys waited anxiously to tell me about their successes and failings. They sat on the edge of their chairs, looking at me with wary eyes, hoping that I would praise them or, if they had misbehaved, that I would not be disappointed in them.

I thought of myself as a gardener. The boys were a barren plot of land in which I sowed the seeds of self-esteem. Each week I watered and hoed and fertilized with words of encouragement and hope and reassurance. I did not lie to them. Sometimes, they would fail, but they would never fail themselves… they certainly would never fail me…. as long as they always tried their best. Pride, I assured then, was in the effort – not in the outcome.

I remember having a conversation with one of my boys about the need to take responsibility for his actions. Our talk went something like this: “I’m not your mother. You don’t have to listen to my advice…” Before I could continue, he cut me off. “If it’s all right with you…:” He grew quiet. A minute passed. Then, he spoke almost in a whisper. “I don’t have a mom at home. I’d like to think of you as my mom at school. Okay?”

You can bet that at that moment, my self-esteem took a noticeable leap upward. I do take pride in the effort, but in this case, the outcome was so rewarding.

~ Donna Carbone, Write 4 You

Bullying encompasses a broad range of experiences, ranging from overt, physical aggression, to more subtle forms including some from of manipulation and passive aggressive behaviors. The greatest challenge I've found is the realization of how often these behaviors are rewarded! In school, bullies are often more popular and have a higher social status among their peers than the shy kids who are more likely to be victimized. This can continue in work settings, even in politics! My best approach to counter these experiences is to diffuse the behavior by not reacting as a victim: I simply convey that I will not engage in this type of dynamic, and avoid potential for victimization.

~ P. M.

Don't be a BULLY! Unless BULLY is just an acronym for Be. Understanding. Live. Love. Yourself.

~ Mathew Weed

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