Why Can't We All Play Nice?

Do you ever get tired of the fact that so many people can’t seem to play nice? Why can’t they? Why is it so difficult?

I was raised to live by the Golden Rule. The code of conduct found in the Bible which says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31 NIV) In other words, treat people the way you want to be treated.

Forget even all the incidents you see on TV or read in the news, this past week I heard of three situations that caused hurt without any justifiable reason.

The first involved a close friend’s teenage daughter. For months a male student verbally abused her at school. His actions recently escalated to minor physical attacks and stalking. For safety, my friend and her husband filed a restraining order. Hopefully, the young man got the message that his actions will not be tolerated.

The second incident occurred at the private middle school where my youngest daughter is employed. The students at this school live in affluent neighborhoods with families able to afford a comfortable lifestyle. A few days ago, my daughter had to step in the middle of one of her advisees and a mother who showed up at the school to harass the student, claiming that the young girl had been bullying her son. My daughter calmed the mother down and then sat with the sobbing student until her own mother arrived to take her home.

The last scenario involved an author who received a hurtful review on Amazon.com. The reviewer’s comments weren’t helpful, they were just mean. There are ways to write constructive criticism without piercing another person’s heart. The review spurred conversation on a writer’s e-mail loop, and more than several respected and multi-published authors shared their own stories of similar reviews during their careers.

I realize there are reasons behind these kinds of behaviors. In a school setting, name calling can make a student feel powerful. It becomes a weapon in the struggle to be “cool.” Cool kids are the ones who can creatively and affectively put down their peers. One way to be funny is to be insulting, especially in front of an audience.

Anger can often be the underlying reason. A targeted child may not be able to “take it” anymore and the result is flying out of control.

Revenge may be at the bottom of bullying. Boys have the sense of justice that it’s okay to bully someone who has bullied you, so a cycle of violence continues. Girls will divert their anger by backstabbing, spreading vicious rumors, or excluding someone.

For some people, violence is a way of life. They’re surrounded by it in the neighborhoods, or experience it in their home.

A child who bullies may be acting out because of problems at home.

Bullies may have poor social skills. They may want attention, are jealous of others, or are overwhelmed by transitions in their lives and don’t know how to control their anger. Perhaps they don’t have enough confidence in themselves to get out of situations without bullying.

Maybe the sense of having power and the ability to affect another person drives not only children, but adults to be unkind.

So . . . the question as to why we all can’t play nice may have answers. Does it help to understand? Perhaps . . . Sometimes . . .

I'll still continue to believe in the Golden Rule.


No comments:

Post a Comment

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye