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Words do hurt

Following our 3-part series ‘ Violent Horizons’ several discussions have been held emanating from the base of the story – ‘bullying’. One discussion which was shared with Guiding Star was that words cause so much pain to children, teenagers and even adults. Often times the inflictor is not aware but sadly there are too many times that adults say harsh things to children, teenagers and each other. Bullying is not always physical, it can also be verbal where a bigger, older or person in authority can make others feel inferior or helpless.

We tend to think that the older individuals become, the more they are able to be a duck, and let negatives ‘roll off their back’ , but everyone has feelings and some cannot easily separate from harsh verbal attacks. Even more so, what is nothing to one person, can be devastating to another.

All students have returned to school for the beginning of the 2012/2013 school year and already there are rumblings of dissatisfaction amongst both the teaching staff and students at all our school levels. Interestingly enough the discussion which was shared with Guiding Star specifically speaks to the disappointment of students at a tertiary institution about the manner and attitude of a tutor to students. According to them, the tutor is unable to complete a class without insulting students and demoralizing their efforts. Acknowledging that everyone’s approach is different, the young people indicated that even asking questions is risky as the retort makes you look stupid. Some have decided that they will ask no questions so that they do not find themselves in the range of his attacks, while others say they will not be tolerating his disrespect and are prepared to respond. This is a bad situation developing where tension and discomfort can result in a variety of reactions.

Guiding Star would like to encourage all females and males young or old to remember that we should treat others how we would like to be treated. Try to be respectful and tolerant because while you may think that a statement made or a question asked is not smart, the person who said or asked it may be seeing something different from you. You could be in a similar position someday and would like to be engaged. No questions asked… no answers given. No learning occurs…no knowledge gained. Even the simplest questions are important and school is certainly the place that questions should be asked and answered.

Respect and tolerance must be hallmarks of our thoughts and actions to each other and everyone who we interact with no matter age, social and economic status, race or religion.

Words once spoken cannot be recalled. Commit to being aware of what you say and the effect it can have on others. Desist from making wide and general statements. Do not be dismissive and disrespectful. Words hurt. Do not be a bully.

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