Could The Golden Rule Be The Ancient Answer To Modern Bullying Prevention?
The Ethic of Reciprocity, Empathy, Compassion and Love To Resolve Bullying
There are proponents of using "The Golden Rule" as the best way to defeat bullying. But is it the best way to handle bullying for you or your child?
Treat Others Like You Want To Be Treated for Bullying?
Based on several of the world's religions and even a secular point of view, perhaps the one most Westerners are familiar with is the Judeo-Christian lesson from the Bible. King James version in Matthew 7:12 is perhaps the best known version stating,
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
According to Wikipedia, "The maxim of the "golden rule" is exemplified in many Christian stories, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, which are unadorned replications of the JewishTorah: "Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD."(Leviticus 19:18 —NJPS)"Bullying Prevention With A Spiritual Solution
Implicitly as well as explicitly taught in most families and neighborhoods in America is the idea of treating others the way you would like to be treated. Several character development, respect and tolerance programs also promote these values of social etiquette.
Defeat Bullying With Love?
As protection specialists, our approach is more comprehensive than most. With a bit of research you will discover many bullying prevention proponents taking one particular approach and applying it to all bullying situations. While we acknowledge the value of addressing bullying with kindness as one approach, we would argue that it is incomplete. This is tantamount to offering prescription without diagnosis as each bullying situation has it's own dynamics, factors and therefore risks.
While this approach may be the recommended strategy in some situations (and a good one), it is not a one size fits all solution. In certain circumstances, this advice might be dangerous. If the bullying has already escalated and kindness has failed, perhaps to the point where your son or daughter is being abused, your child may not be able to wait for kindness and love to resolve the situation. Keep in mind that children can be sociopaths too.
In Dr. George Thompson's teachings, founder of VERBAL JUDO, preserving the individuals dignity is at the cornerstone of seeking a peaceful, cooperative resolution. Evidence confirms that this can be an effective tool in peaceful negotiations.
Equipping Children By Guiding Them Through Bullying Situations
Giving the bullying problem back to the child so that they can develop some social skills, personal boundary and safety education can be powerful if done properly and carefully. However, some situations call for immediate intervention and we should not expect some children, especially very young ones to have the wisdom, threat assessment and maturity skills to handle it alone. Resolving it for them may also not be the answer and that is why it is important to be trained on such matters and work together with parents, teachers, coaches and approach the situation with wisdom.
We don't want to risk creating a permanent victim and easy target. While life is risk, the partnership advocacy approach prevents unnecessary risks and has lasting benefits in equipping the intended target of bullying to better manage future aggressive behavior.
It is for this reason that we advocate involving parents, teachers and counselors to offer insight, wisdom and a more dispassionate and objective point of view.
The Golden Rule is One Strategy, But Not The Only Bullying Prevention Approach
The Golden Rule is one of the approaches that we advocate, however we must be careful to apply the right approach to the situation. Each bullying situation is unique and should be treated with temperance, care and a centered calm. Context, or the unique situation always determines the defense or approach to resolving the issue. An assessment and clearly defining your desired outcome is the starting point. Just be cautious not to paint with overly broad strokes, especially when it comes to children's safety.
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