I want to write about determination; more specifically, chutzpah. Chutzpah is having the nerve or backbone to stand up to an issue or someone whether you are justified or not. It is that determination, passion and drive that sets you apart from others. Other words for chutzpah are: cheekiness, insolence, impertinence, impudence, crust, freshness, gall, utter nerve, shameless audacity, effrontery. The word has also been able to be interpreted as meaning the amount of spunk or ability that an individual has. In more traditional usage, chutzpah is invariably negative; but, I want to address the positiveness of having that ability to be outwardly confident and assertive. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah or spunk or assertiveness to rattle the chains of the establishment. Particularly those in regards to bullying.
There are still many out there who believe that children just need to grin and bear the brunt of teasing, but to what level. How far must they keep taking it and bone up? Those ears still hear the negative words, which will keep playing out in the mind of a child. Sure, maybe as an adult we can more easily shrug it off, but children are so eager to please and need to be praised and valued.
Through being valued, they will value others. There is already too many other negative events that children are exposed to daily. They do not need to be affronted by teasing, taunting, and name-calling. They certainly do not need to be violently assaulted with physical contact or objects. Why are children so bold as to feel it is permissible to put down others and to even assault another peer? Where are children picking up the idea that it is okay to be mean? Children are great observers. They watch adults do it. And, they watch adults turning the other way when children engage in the teasing, taunting and other forms of bullying. So, bullying behaviors become acceptable in the minds of children. Would you say that bullies have chutzpah? Eh, maybe.
I certainly feel that those who are willing to stand up to any injustices in this world do have chutzpah. It takes a certain amount of spunk to stand up to a bullying punk. When a child shows spunk, then bullies no longer have the power to affect the former victim. I would love to see everyone who cares anything about children (as well as adults) create environments where bullying is simply no longer effective. It would be rendered powerless if we provide a climate where bullying simply has no use or place. If the environment is warm, you no longer need to wear a coat. Right?
How do we create a climate where bullying is no longer “needed” or “useful”? We create learning, teaching and work environments where love and kindness are readily acceptable and recognized behaviors. In those places where love and kindness is appreciated, you will see love and kindness appreciate in value. Who doesn’t like being praised. We are all eager to please and be pleasing when the environment in which we are makes it acceptable and valued. Smiles beget smiles. Kind words begets kind words. Loving gestures beget loving gestures. All these positive behaviors are passed forward to the next person. Children WILL pick up on this and they will imitate it.
I think it takes a lot of chutzpah to get that type of campaign rolling. I am willing and ready to take the steps toward that one blog at a time; one person at a time; one smile at a time; one loving and kind gesture at a time. Each time I put myself out in my community to be helpful, caring , loving and kind, I am making our world that much better with chutzpah and determination.