(Victims of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School)
It happened again…another school shooting…this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida. This has become the new normal. The violence has got to stop. School should be a safe place for students and teachers. No one should feel threatened or fear for their life.
Campus cultures of meanness, bullying, anger, violence and disconnection need to change. This transformation starts with you. Don’t wait for politicians and other adults to change things. You be the change.
There’s timeless wisdom that’s found in something that’s called the “Golden Rule.” It’s always good to practice, but especially appropriate today given the horrific tragedy in Florida. It’s simple and easy to do. And it could make a huge difference on campuses – and in our world – if we would all put it into practice. Check it out: “treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Be a contagious example of this to others at school, home and at work. With the “Golden Rule” as a foundation, here are some other practical things you (and your friends) can do to change the culture at your school.
-Be more aware of lonely people on campus who are falling through the cracks socially. The ones who are going unnoticed. Outward violence often begins with inner loneliness. Reach out to them. Let them know they matter and you care.
– Look for those who seem stressed out and overwhelmed by school, family issues or natural disasters. You don’t have to say much. Just be there to offer support. Be there for them.
– Who’s being bullied at school? Who is doing the bullying? Get some friends together and step in. Help the one being bullied and try to reason with the one doing the bullying.
– Looks for signs of anger and violence. Angry people hurt others. Violence begins with disconnection. Reach out to find out what’s causing the anger. Be a friend – a listening ear.
If you see something; say something. Don’t overreact, but don’t ignore obvious signs that something’s not right. There’s a bigger picture, for the safety and health of the larger community. Do what’s right; not what’s easy.
The day before the shooting in Florida, a Grandmother in Washington discovered a notebook that belonged to her grandson. This notebook contained a detailed plot for a mass shooting he was going to carry out on his campus. She called 911 to alert the authorities, who consequently took him into custody. It wasn’t an easy thing for her to do, but it was the right thing to do so another potential tragedy could be thwarted and countless lives saved.
You be the change to start a movement to create a culture of kindness, respect and encouragement on your campus. Go M.A.D. – make a difference – and don’t settle for a “new normal” of violence and mass shootings. Take the risk. It’s worth it.
Remember, Utalk is all about ‘You talking to Us’ so let us now how we can help you. If you’re feeling disconnected, lonely, hurt, bullied or angry reach out to us on social media @utalkradio; on our web site: utalkradio.com or give a call: 855-508-8255.
We’d also like to hear what you’re doing on your campus to “be the change.” We’re always looking for ideas we can share with others about how they can make a difference.