a tickle of words to create smiles

Posts tagged ‘Bullying’

Take a Stand

I have found that when I have strong convictions for certain issues like addressing negative behaviors and bullying with respect and kindness, my life has direction, purpose and meaning. I am happy. I am not floundering around seeking what is not in my heart.

Some people, who are uncertain where they stand with life issues will vacillate, which often leads to dissatisfaction, unhappiness and disappointment. Fulfilled lives start with a strong belief and/or a passion for something, which gives you direction. Consider your own heart, your beliefs and your passions. What excites you? Let this lead your actions and you will find satisfaction and joy.

If overcoming bullying is your passion, too, then please seek me, Dr. Angi at HEARTS T HAT CARE (www.heartsthatcare.net).

Appreciating Life

I am deeply grateful to be alive and to experience life. My friend Art posted a story, The Tea Cup (original title: The Potter and the Clay) in hisblog, Zendictive October 26,2012, which beautifully illustrates life. The Tea Cup is a metaphor on how we may not always appreciate the hardships and strife of the moment in our lives. In the process of becoming a beautiful teacup, a lump of clay must be pounded, kneaded, spun around, molded, fired, painted and fired again. Each step made the clay stronger and stronger. As with life, every hardship makes us stronger and stronger.

I fully appreciate the story Art shared on his blog; and, I deeply appreciate my own life. I see how each hurt and hardship I have experienced has made me who I am today! Yes, I didn’t enjoy experiencing the hurts, trials and tribulations, but I knew I could get through them and be a stronger person because of them.

There was a time in my life when I had to take a hard look at my career as a teacher. I was teaching middle school math at the time. Each day I planned amazing lessons, which often were not well received by the students who were coming from poverty and broken homes. I had to be nurturing first, before I could go on with the math lessons. I was also finishing up my doctoral studies.

All that was left to do was edit my doctoral dissertation by adding more current scholarly research to my review of literature on the topic of bullying and cyber-bullying. I soon learned that I had to redo my study, because it didn’t meet the perceived criteria, which meant having to rewrite the protocol, the questions and procedures of the study, ascertain if I still has permission to use human subjects or did I have to go through the human research review board again. My dissertation director of the time told me, “If I were you I would resign my teaching position.”

I was in a quandary. Do I give up my livelihood to finish my dream? After much debate and a heart-to-heart discussion with my principal, I decided to resign my teaching position. Little did I know that soon after I made that decision that we would be in a recession; and, I would not be able to secure another full-time teaching or administrative position. However, after another couple of bumps in the road including a change of dissertation directors, I completed my doctoral program. One of the sweeter sounds I have ever heard was when I was first addressed as Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko. It was music to my ears!

I made the right decision. I am able to do more now with my freedom from any one single school system in order to address bullying and inspire others. I took a mental pounding, I was molded. There are times when I feel I am breathing in the toxic fumes of the glazing paint. And, I know that each of these challenges are strengthening my resolve and giving insights to better help others. Yes, each moment of life we are given is a gift. We can choose how to use our lives. When can choose the easier path, the one that is mediocre and less challenging. I choose to seize each moment, pursue my dreams, count my blessings, love myself and others; furthermore, if I inspire others in the process, then I am twice blessed.

TV News Anchor Takes on A Bully! Kudos!

Jennifer Livingston, a morning anchor with WKBT-TV in La Crosse, Wisconsin, brilliantly articulated her self-worth and took a stand against bullying when responding to a viewer’s criticism about her appearance. The viewer assumed that Jennifer has led an unhealthy lifestyle. Although, Jennifer is not model thin; she is a beautiful, robust and bountiful woman. As you will see in the video, she gracefully and elegantly addressed the criticism and the bully.

Video Link (embed has been disabled so you will need to click on Video Link to take you directly to You Tube)

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Video

Belonging

Ricky, the name used here for the young man in the video has been a victim of bullying and teasing. Here is his story:

Sometimes
I Feel
Like I
Need
to be
Someone
Else
So that
People will
Like me
And I Will
Belong to
Their group
But really
If they don’t
Like me
For Who I am
They’re not worth
Acting for
Personally
I Think
That Everyone should
Just Be Themselves
No One should Judge them…(see video for more).

The wisdom of this young man is beyond his years. He truly has understanding. May we all learn from him. He belongs. We belong. We all need to just get along. Love and kindness are the solution.

Yard Sales are…

Yard sales are not just an opportunity to purge your clutter; they are also great to reconnect with schoolmates, socialize with neighbors and meet new people!
~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Yesterday during the yard sale, I had the opportunity to socialize with many people as they browsed. It was delightful! I got to know my neighbors better, met new people and I got to spend quality time with a schoolmate.

It was wonderful to get to know my schoolmate at a deeper level. I learned, like me, she was a victim of bullying in high school. I had no idea. Bullying reared its ugly head in many ways during our time in high school. I would love the opportunity to capture everyone’s story.

As I socialized with browsers, there was a lovely eighty-plus-year-old woman who shared her story of being bullied in her school years. I always knew that bullying transcended the years. I dare say it goes as far back as to when humanity came to existence. Her comment that lightened the moment was that she outlived her tormentors. It made me pause and ponder.

The yard sale gave me an opportunity to promote myself and Hearts That Care as many asked what I do for a living. I got to share with them that I am an anti-bullying expert, education specialist, and an advocate of kindness; as well as,  inspire positivity, creativity and productivity to empower people( from bullying themselves, being bullied and bullying others and the environment) through speaking and training engagements, programming, art, writing, and one-on-one life coaching.

The highlight of the yard sale was being able to give out six Gifts of Love. The recipients were filled with joy. The eighty-year-old woman said I made her day. It is so true, when you give of yourself, you receive so much more in return. It is a double blessing. Below are images of the bags that went home with some phenomenal people. I am so grateful!

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Sunshine and Smiles

Today was an amazing day. I had a great interview with Wendy Fedan of Create-A-Way on the topic of bullying. If you would like to catch the replay click here on this link: Create-A-Way Today BlogTalkRadio Wendy is a phenomenal ARTbundance Coach who utilizes her gifts in helping people create a way for their goals and dreams. I am also an ARTbundance coach with close to 20 years of experience in gifted and science education. I have inspired students to tap into their creativity to achieve their academic goals in science. I have also mentored freshman teachers. at-risk students and started anti-bullying/kindness promoting programs in which I worked.

One of my best assets has been my sincere smile. No matter how rough things could get at times, I managed to smile through it. My colleagues and students have let me know that my genuine kindness and smile inspired them; and, it often got them through the harder moments of their days. I was a ray of sunshine and hope. Actually, I believe I am still a light in people’s lives (or I certainly hope I am).

It is amazing how a simple, genuine smile can get someone through a low moment, even if it is a smile for yourself. It nurtures the heart and the soul. When you are in a low moment in your day, close your eyes and recall a memory that brought you joy. Give yourself permission to smile or even laugh if it was a memory filled with light moments and humor. Joseph Addison (a statesman, essayist and poet of the late 1600s to early 1700s) stated, “What sunshine is to flowers; smiles are to humanity.” I find this to be true.

Chutzpah

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.

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