For me it was Santa Claus, then the Easter Bunny and then the Tooth Fairy. Their reality and disappearances were accompanied by the most unusual stories that I believed because Mother and Daddy said so. Santa Clause eventually morphed into the “spirit of giving” and remains that in my heart even today. As I grew spiritually I found new joy during this season anticipating and celebrating the birth of “Mary’s Baby Boy”, Jesus.
The Easter Bunny became a festive sugary centerpiece on the dining room table during the most spiritual Christian season of the year. I’m not sure what happened to the Tooth Fairy. Nevertheless, they all served a purpose and had a value that I didn’t fully appreciate until I became a parent myself.
I guess the most important truth that Mother and Daddy taught me that I tarnished and vilified was what most people call The Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is a rule of ethical conduct, usually phrased “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or, as in the Sermon on the Mount, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them.” Matt. 7:12; Luke 6:31.
When I became grown (twelve years old), I broke the Golden Rule big time. I ignored what Mother and Daddy had been teaching me my entire life. I allowed preteen peer pressure to dictate who I liked, disliked, who I invited to my parties or not and who I gossiped about and what I said. The only way I can explain and not excuse my bad behavior is by calling it growing pains. I forgave my youthful foolishness with a promise to love and not hate; share and not be selfish and comfort and not victimize forever more.
So how did our society’s young people get from breaking the Golden Rule with naughty gossip and closed parties to “bullying” as the most common form of violence in the United States? The truth of what childhood is supposed to be has been forever tarnished. Consider this:
- American schools hold 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims.
- One in seven students from grades K-12 is either bullies or victims of bullying.
- Nearly one-fourth of students from elementary through high school have reported that they have been harassed or bullied at school because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
- Eighty-six percent of LGBT students said that they have experienced harassment in school.
- An estimated 160,000 children miss school every day because they fear attack or intimidation by bullies.
- Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school-shooting incidents.
- Fifty-four percent of students reported that witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to school violence.
- Each month, 282,000 students report being attacked in high schools throughout the nation.
- Victims of bullying are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than students who are not bullied.
- More than two-thirds of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying and that adult help is infrequent and ineffective.
These young people are our legacy to the world. How do we eliminate both the label “bully” and the associated behavior?
I invite you to join the conversation. Our country is desperately looking for successful solutions. You may just have the answer. I love connecting with you!
 https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-bullyingUntil next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.