Could Faith Play a Role Against Bullying?
In my previous post entitled: Bullies: Born or Raised I asked 3 questions, the first is the title of the previous blog and the second question is: How do we raise children to take a stand against bullying? This is one of those questions that have many different answers all of which are valuable. Of course the answers are going to be shaped based on what we value as parents. A while back I read a Macleans article about what makes some kids more resilient than others. It looked at the role faith played in those children who would appear to be more resilient and centered. The article described a situation on a subway where a man was acting ‘insanely’. He was offering people a sandwich, talking in an agitated way, and essentially acting in such a way that section of the sub was empty – no one wanted to sit beside this man. A mother and her daughter, who was about 12/13 years old came on the sub and happened to sit in the section with the man. He did what he had been doing- offered them his sandwich while still being agitated. Both mother and daughter took the sandwich. The man immediately calmed down and became quiet. When asked why they didn’t react like everyone else and avoid sitting in the same section with this man, they responded from a faith-based foundation. Based on their faith-based teachings they were able to look past the physical and see the goodness in this man. Could a faith-based environment be one ingredient that prepares children to take a stand against bullying? Could a sense of connection to something greater than us play a role in children being able to speak up and speak out against bullying? Of course, this experience of the mother and her daughter coming from a place of faith could be challenged by numerous examples of people of faith being bullies themselves. However, for children raised to ‘love thy neighbor…’ from a young age, it makes me wonder if this sort of planting could play a role in some ( I know it won’t stick with everyone) children and their ability to take a stand against bullying?