When we began The Protectors freedom-from-bullying movement about eight years ago, a unique movement in that it works within both faith-based and values-based organizations, some thought it was a good but not necessary creation--like places that change your vehicle's oil. Now according to a recent Harris Poll, bullying is the #1 concern among both parents and students--surpassing sex, drugs and gang activity.
Hardly a week goes by when bullying does not make it into our nation's media and our collective mind and worry, reminding me of that ominous phrase: You might not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. More and more studies reveal that this intentional form of abuse affects most everyone the way a stone creates waves through water. It's as if we've been re-introduced to an old enemy that we thought we knew but didn't, leading to anxiety, and hardly know how to resist, leading to paralysis and even more anxiety.
But there is a way out, which is what this fresh blog is all about. This path toward freedom, justice and the defense of human dignity is forged by helping all four "characters" in the "Theater of Bullying" (Bullies, Targets, Bystanders and Authority) change their role. Because life really is a movie. And when it comes to bullying, the ultimate question is: What role will adults as well as children play?
And let me leave you with this distilling insight, which will help you understand the primary goal and orientation of this new blog: Knowledge alone will not transform this problem any more than consuming one lone vitamin leads to health. Knowledge alone does not set captives free. We have plenty of knowledge about bullying--some of which is conflicting. Our children, their parents and their teachers don't need another Ph.D. to tell them that bullying is wrong and harmful. This is confirmed within the blacksmith of our troubled souls. What we lack and what we need as a people is the will, courage, conviction and indignation to confront it and diminish it. This will require sacrifice and for some, suffering. Some will rise to this noble, life-affirming challenge and some will not--just like the characters in our favorite movies.
So welcome. Let's change history within history, and in the process grow courage, character and leadership for life, not just for the children in our lives, but for the adults as well.