Day 279 In the Pursuit of Love (Against Violence — Part 2)

In Post 260, I said I didn’t really want to write about being against violence — I wanted to write about being for peace. And then Sarah on AngloSaxonCeltCreates wrote her piece Against Violence — and stirred up the hornets’ nest in my head.

BEFORE THE INCITING INCIDENT

As long as there is fear and as long as there are inequities in the world then there will be violence. But preventing violence needs to start from where we are. It is much easier to prevent violence if issues are addressed before there is an inciting incidence. When I was a teacher, I was informed there was going to be a fight when one of my kids left my room. I kept that child with me – wow was she mad — and when the halls cleared I took her to guidance. The two kids ultimately were able to talk it out.

There is always a ripple effect. The peace keeper student who told me of the problem started the ripple. I then was then next ripple of peace and then the guidance councilor and ultimately the two girls who were going to fight found a peaceful solution.

The ripple effect could have gone the other way. The peace keeping girl could have been too afraid to tell me. I would have not intervened. The girls would have fought. In all likelihood their friends would have started to argue about whose side to take. The kids would have been punished by the administrators and then parents would have to choose sides….ripple after ripple.

BEFORE THE FIRST WORD

The first conversation starts in your head. The story you tell will determine a peaceful or violent end. A person cut me off on the highway. That is a fact. If I leave it alone and don’t add a story to the fact — it will merely be forgotten.

If I add a story that I am the luckiest person because the person having the bad day missed me. I feel great because I was so lucky and acknowledged there was nothing personal about the incident. There is a peaceful ending for both of us.

If I  add a story that the other driver should have seen me — therefore he is an incompetent driver and should be punished — and in fact he probably did it on purpose — and he needs to be shown a lesson — so I go after him to cut him off so that he’ll know what it felt like — we now have a case of road rage. There is a violent ending for both of us.

BEFORE THE BIG WAR

Before a big war breaks out there are usually some smaller skirmishes — disagreements — wrangling for power. There are usually many opportunities to stop the violence before it rages out of control. Just as it takes practice to be an effective peacekeeper — it takes practice to be an effective bully. Whether we are a country sending troops to battle or we’re dragging our spouse to court — there were probably many opportunities for the two sides to make peace.

We need to start looking for those opportunities if we want peace rather than violence. Before the big war we need to see our “enemy’s” fear and rather than capitalize on it for our own gain — we need to find a way to be present in the moment so that we can find a way to disperse the fear and open a space for peaceful conversation.

What do you think?

Love,

Colleen

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6 thoughts on “Day 279 In the Pursuit of Love (Against Violence — Part 2)

  1. Excellent post…

    It’s a choice of influences….the influences we agree to will shape the composition of the energy we feed outwardly….in thoughts and/or actions. This is a moment-to-moment process called inner work…. just a thought.

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  2. I don’t know how old your students were but where I grew up, everyone would have turned against the girl who ratted out the other kids. Everyone knew that you NEVER told on others. No one would have ever trusted that girl again. She might as well have changed schools that day, because she would have been shunned. Tattle tail, Rat Fink, Narc…I can’t imagine that she would have ever had any friends at all. If you were a kid who couldn’t be trusted to keep quiet, you didn’t have a life. She could have talked to the girls and tried to bring about a peaceful solution to the problem, but to rat on someone…not in a million years. Trust is the most important thing there is. Trust between peers, friends. You don’t rat out your friends, no matter how old you are. Kids today, aren’t allowed to solve their own problems. That girl would never be called a Peace keeper around here, that’s for sure. Not even close.

    It’s sad that we reward kids for telling on others. That’s a dangerous things to teach kids. I can’t imagine that people who tell on others when they are young, simply stop telling on others, once they grow up, especially if they are tagged with names that make them feel as if they did something positive. Giving her a Peace Keeper title is just an adult’s way of manipulating a student to get what they want. Using her as an example to show others that ratting people out is an okay thing to do.

    This isn’t about two girls fighting, this about rewarding a girl for telling on others. Which to me, is far worse than any fight that would have ever taken place. I wouldn’t let my kids or my grandchildren play with her. We would call her a troublemaker. Sorry, that’s just the way it is here. Different world views. Different attitudes.

    I realize that the overwhelming majority of people who read this will disagree strongly with what I wrote but this is a really frightening thing to me. Bad people, in other countries, have trained kids to tell on others before and it didn’t go very well for THE OTHERS. They trained them by rewarding them for ratting other people out. Frightening indeed.

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    • I believe the purpose of these “anti” violence posts are to open a dialogue. I could certainly write more of my views and try to sway you to my way of thinking. However, I would prefer to better understand why you feel as you do. Does it matter the intent behind the telling? If the girl was trying to get the other girls in trouble rather than to stop a violent act — does it make a difference? I read you’re heart-wrenching piece “Okay so” . You say in your comment to my post that: “I wouldn’t let my kids or my grandchildren play with her. We would call her a troublemaker.” If a child had told a teacher that your daughter was going to be assaulted and an attempted rape occur — would you really have shunned this tattle tale of a child for risking losing all of her friends to save your daughter experiencing an event that is sure to be carried with her for life? You state that children should solve their own problems — I agree to a certain extent. Your daughter learning to defend herself is empowerment. But adults did intervene in helping her to solve her problem — by going to the neighbors house and by ratting out the kids to the police. Is there ever a right time for a child to tell and adult that violence is going to occur? Thanks for the chance for me to better understand a different view of the world. Peace. ❤

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      • Absolutely. If there is danger, or violence that could end in danger, someone needs to dial 911 or intervene. I asked about the ages of the children. I don’t know how old they were. I believe that kids should be taught how to handle conflict in a peaceful way. They might not always have a choice, but I think we should actually TEACH that in schools. Everyone should take classes in how to end conflicts peacefully,every year they are in school, so that as they age, they can refine their options.

        The fact remains, that there may have been other children who knew about the fight, but didn’t tell. I think it’s a dangerous thing to reward children for telling on other kids. Peace Keepers are actually U.S weapons. I think that rewarding a kid for ratting on others is setting a bad example for the rest of the kids. Life is different today. Kids are monitored from the moment they are born. Adults plan their lives and, truthfully, I don’t know they can learn who they are, without ever having the space to find out.

        We took care of ourselves. We found out what worked through experience, not by having others step in and deal with what was going on. We were strong kids, who took care of ourselves. We leaned the art of negotiation by negotiating. We learned everything by figuring it out, hands on. We all came away better for it. Every kid in the neighborhood/school knew the rules and had a say in what went on. No adults were involved.

        No one was attacking one of the girls. It was a fight by MUTUAL agreement. There is a difference there. The girls decided to fight. No one was beating on someone against her will. I am not saying that fighting was right way to handle things. I’m saying that the girl who told wasn’t right either. Even if she told the girls who planned on fighting, that she was going to tell, if they didn’t work things out, that would have been better than telling an them. Hermione Granger, in Harry Potter was hated by millions of kids and adults alike, when she narced on Harry, after he got his broomstick from Black. The characters wouldn’t talk to her. Sure, she had Harry’s best interest at heart, but who made her ruler of the Universe? They told her to butt out and she IGNORED the wishes of the people involved, in order to do what SHE thought best.

        This is a real issue of trust. Elevating the person who broke that trust, to Peace Keeper is just sad. I am not saying that the child had bad intent. She may have thought she was doing the right thing. But she shouldn’t be rewarded for what she did. No one asked for her help. It was a fair fight. If things got out of hand the other kids may have stepped in and stopped it, or someone could have actually gotten help.

        If there is danger and someone is being hurt, run and tell whoever you can, or try to stop it, but in this case, I think she made the wrong choice. It all depends on how you grew up and this is so deeply ingrained in me that it’s who I am. And no, I still wouldn’t want her around my kids. I wouldn’t trust her not to run to her mom, or someone else, with every little thing. I’ve see that happen again and again.

        We need to teach kids to deal with things properly, by themselves. That’s how they learn. If those skills were taught in school, beginning in K, the girls may have talked things out right away and never even thought of fighting. To me, telling on someone is a much more violent and far reaching act than a fair fight. Fights are over in a matter of minutes, Ratting people out, never goes away. Who will she tell on next? Why would any kid want to be friends with someone he/she couldn’t trust? Maybe she will never say another word, but how can you know? She is the Peace Keeper now, elevated to a new status, a status that no kid in their right mind would EVER want. Stool Pigeons have to keep their identity secret because they will be killed if anyone knows who they are. There’s a theme here. You don’t rat on other people.
        Teach that to your kids when they are young, so they don’t get beaten up for telling on other kids.

        As parents, we would like our children to be safe and to always do the right thing. That’s unrealistic. Kids are often mean and when they get older, they do what they want to do, not what you would like them to do. I was a kid, my mom was perfect. She had no idea what my life was like. I don’t think she would have believed what my life was like if anyone told her. We were all like that.

        If you want your kid to be bullied, dress them in a weird way, don’t let them do what the other kids do. Don’t teach them to not narc on other kids. Give them strange ways of looking at things, so they stand out and become “freaks.” You may love them that way and they may fit well into your family, but you can make life impossible for THEM. Give them names that other kids can tease them about. If this sounds insane, well, I’ve taught high school kids and University kids. I’ve had kids, and grandkids. I was a kid. You can pretend all you like, but its a jungle out there for your kids and you can make it easier for them or harder. Just remember that THEY are the ones walking the halls. It’s not a pretty picture for those who don’t fit in. And no, I’m not telling you to change your beliefs, your style or whatever. I’m telling you the truth about what your kid is going through. Being “other” is not fun. You have to do what you want. It’s your life, you just have to remember that the kids are the ones who have to live it every single day. And one more thing…we need to teach our kids that when we see bullying taking place they need to gather together and STOP it IMMEDIATELY. Kids need to stop bullies. Kids who are bullied don’t usually TELL ON THE BULLIES (no ratting on them…it makes it worse). If there are bigger problems with bullies, the police should be called. No kid should commit suicide because of a bully who couldn’t be stopped. Bullying won’t end until the kids become part of the solution. Kids are afraid to stand up to bullies because THEY don’t want to be the next victim. We have to change that kind of thinking and show the power of group pressure.

        And we didn’t give the names of the boys to the police. We asked what could be done to kids like that. This wasn’t a fair fight. The other kids who saw what was happening were afraid and ran, instead of helping. This is where education comes in. We need to teach kids to help those in trouble and not to run. Again the above example of the Peace Keeper was about a girl telling on two other girls, who had agreed to fight. They were working out their problem. No one was there against her will. There is a huge difference between these situations. No one was being attacked and out numbered. They are not the same things.

        I appreciate your input very much. Thank you. These issues need to be brought into the open. Differing opinions are always a good thing.

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        • To answer your question the kids were fourteen/fifteen. I had no indication from the child telling me that this was an agreed upon fight. She told me that when this particular young lady left my room she was going to beat the crap out of another kid and start a fight. Assuming that the child had not told me and the beating had occurred this would not have ended it. There was a zero tolerance for fighting at our school. The girls in the altercation would have likely been given out of school suspension, their parents would have to meet with the superintendent before they could return to school, since it is an assault criminal charges could be filed, any person — child or adult who witnessed the fight would have been called in by administration to give testimony to what they saw, custodians would have been called in to clean up the blood, medical personal would have documented the injuries, teachers would have been endangered having to step in and break up the fight or face being sued by the parents for allowing their children to be hurt on school property, classes would have been held up while the blood was cleaned from the halls.

          I was — am one of those parents/teachers who believe that kids need to work it out themselves. But there are other times when working it for themselves is to enlist the help of an adult because the problem is bigger than they can handle alone. Teenagers know when their friends have been date raped and beaten by their parents and plan to commit suicide — some are afraid of the stigma of telling and they keep it to themselves and the guilt eats away at them because they know their friends are hurting and they don’t have the skills to help them and when their friend is found hung that they could have done something to stop it and yes a few tell — they tell knowing that to save their friend’s life it might cost them their friendship and more. I see those children as having the instincts to become a Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi.

          Thanks for the insights. I hope you have a peaceful day. ❤

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