Thursday, January 19, 2012

Harder than it looks...

Yesterday was a day of extreme emotion.

It started with laughter, light hearted fun and connectedness.  It ended with tears of pain and sorrow.

We knew there was a video of the attack on my son.  It hit YouTube late last night.

Have you ever watched your son get beat by a boy that has no respect for himself or anyone else?

It's sickening, heartbreaking, body numbing.  And it takes your breath away but not in one of those "oh what a beautiful mountain" ways, more like a "oh my God, that's my son being kicked in the ribs and I can't do anything to stop it from happening" way.

It's an extremely vulnerable place to be.

I watched that video (YouTube removed it) and felt defeated for a time.  I've done everything I can to empower my children and here was one of them, being beaten down and I watched with my hands tied because I can't turn back the clock.

Earlier this week I made the decision to recommit to focusing my energy on non-violent empowerment for youth.  I had been doing it for years and then my focus turned to other things.  After viewing multiple videos regarding bullying and watching the Gandhi movie a couple of weekends ago.  I realized that change must happen.  Bullies aren't going to go away.  But empowering youth to do the right thing in a bullying situation, teaching them to stand firm in their belief in themselves and nurturing self confidence can make a huge difference in how many lives bullying destroys. 

Yesterday's events confirmed my passion for this topic.

And while I felt defeated, one thing truly stood out while I watched that video.  Not once did my son fight back.  Now I know most parents would want their child to protect and defend themselves.  My son knew there was no reason for violence, he hadn't done anything wrong and was happy to walk away and hope this kid settled down.  He was pulled down.  Punched and kicked, all the while saying "I'm not going to fight you".  He stayed in his integrity, he stood firm in his values and morals that violence is not the answer.

In the moment it might look like cowardice to some.  But to me I see strength, resilience and courage. 

God!  That's amazing!

As my son was trying to convince me to let him stay home from school today I explained to him that if something happens at school, if he is hit again, or hurt again I will do the same thing I did yesterday, today.  I will report the behaviour one by one by one for as long as I have to do that until someone gets the picture that we've all had enough of this bullshit.

This is all much harder that it looks by the way.

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