365 days of bullying – The Tao of Jose Introduction
I continue to read and see that while we have made some progress to combat bullying we are still far from eliminating the problem.
Actually in the last couple of weeks I have seen news about kids committing suicide or been beaten at school. Bullying and violence, sadly to admit, is not limited to kids as we are all victims of this social tragedy.
The issue at hand is what we are going to do about it.
I mean, we are all busy and if it doesn’t affect me directly why should I get involved. God only knows that as it is I barely have time to sleep even less to get involved in something that should not be my problem.
Yet if everyone assumes the same position the situation will more than likely degenerate even further. Furthermore, the optimist in me says that I should try to do something as it is the right thing to do so I decided to give to this cause the most important resource that I have, time. For the next year I will write a simple message meant to be read one day at a time. Maybe no one will read it. Perhaps I will get one person to read it and someone else to join me.
But even more important will be the opportunity to reach one person. And if you are reading this I already met my quota so join me and let’s see what kind of adventure this writing will turn out to be. By the way, be forewarned, I don’t claim to be an expert of nothing and will simply be writing from the top of my head and the bottom of my heart.
Day One: How do you eat a super-extra large pizza?
One bite at a time.
I imagine that been bullied is no fun. Even worst is the fact that this behavior may be going for quite some time. So the question is how do I handle this problem?
There are actually two approaches that work with this example. First. During my times studying math I learned to break down the problem into bits of information and work with one piece at a time. Sometimes it took me hours to get to the solution, other times it took me days.
Truthfully speaking there were times that I didn’t get it so I couldn’t solve it then, however, either way I knew that I could survive the experience if I handle it one piece of information at a time.
Second. I’m not the brightest crayon in the box for which I have hurt myself in quite painful ways. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t like pain but I’m quite active for which I sometimes pay the price. There have been times where the pain has been so strong that I felt like someone was stabbing me with every beat of my heart.
Yet, through all of my ordeals I chose to believe that I will get better if I just handle it one day at a time. So keep this in mind. No matter how big the problem or situation just handle it one bite at a time. So pick a slice and a corner and bite into it.
Day two: The Secret
In my house we have a philosophical debate that came up based on a book called the Secret.
One of my sons swears by it as the greatest philosophy in the world. The other puts it down as “hippie” stuff.
I will tell you what I interpret as my secret. Life is tough. Everyday seems like a struggle and at times it seems as if there is no way to win. True but false.
My secret is that every day is a new opportunity for me. I know that not everything will go my way, however I decide to concentrate on the things that I consider positive.
If I don’t succeed, someone “attacked” me, or I just couldn’t accomplish my goal, I choose to pause, think about it and challenge myself to spin the results in some positive way or change my approach to reach my goal.
In other way, if I felt hurt or disappointed I wouldn’t let those feelings control me. Instead I learn from my mistakes, plan as much as I can ahead and concentrate my energies on the desired outcome and the positive thing coming out of every action.
So my secret turns out to be a lot of clichés into one thought: “Concentrate on the positive and don’t let the negative hold you down or influence your life.”
Day three: You are right
From a friend of mine I heard this phrase: “If you think you can’t, you are right. If you think you cannot, you are right”.
I know he quoted the phrase from someone else but the point is: they are right. I have never heard a successful story that started with: I thought I would never be able to accomplish this.
If you think you won’t be able to do it why waste your time?
I’m not going to be able to run 20 miles but I register on the marathon anyway. Why would you do that? If your goal is to finish this marathon and you don’t even believe in yourself; what are you doing?
On the other hand, maybe your goal was never to finish the marathon but to show support for a cause. Maybe you just like the t-shirt they were offering or simply wanted bragging rights for having the courage to register. Under those circumstances even if you didn’t finish you met your goal so you win.
But that is not the case I’m talking about. The point is that you can influence the outcome if you just believe in yourself. Now I’m not saying that all you have to do is believe in yourself and magically all your wishes will come true. What I’m saying is that you don’t need yourself to be another bully beating you down the path. Be positive, believe in yourself and learn from your experiences.
Day four: Who are you?
This may be the most difficult question to answer and some of us go thru our life trying to figure it out and defining what we find.
In this case, do you know the person that looks back at you in the mirror?
I frequently say that every person is three persons: The person you think you are; The person others think you are; and The person you truly are.
So chances are that what you see and think of yourself is not what others see. Yet sometimes we place so much importance in what others say and think about us that we start believing them and forget to look for the person you truly are.
So instead of putting yourself down and giving others power over your life: why don’t you spend the time looking at the mirror and getting to know the person on the other side?
Day five: My superpower
Throughout my whole live I have been reading comic books. My favorite hero is; you guessed it Batman. This is a character that had a personal tragedy which pretty much destroys his life as he knew it.
He was defeated for a while but then decided to train and study so that what happens to him wouldn’t happen to others.
This character in particular had no powers but through sheer effort became one of the best known characters in comic book world.
If you follow closely many of the inspirational tales we read and watch have a similar story line. Introduction of characters, main characters is defeated and as an underdog comes back to beat the odds against him/her.
Many of the tales are either real or have a base in real life. So who is to say that your tale is not one of these and that while you feel down at this moment you are just getting to the turnaround point where you start changing your life for the best?
At the same time; are you ready to change your life for the better?
At the end of the day just consider the following, I don’t know you, yet I believe in you. You have the power to change your life so what are you waiting for?
Day six: If you had the chance to do anything at this very minute; what will you do?
This is a game I play quite frequently. I look at my day today and think; If I had the chance to do anything today what would I like to do?
This little game that seems insignificant has been my compass in life. Once I know what I want is easier to think about a plan to go after it and get it.
Occasionally I realize that what I wanted wasn’t exactly what I was going after but is better to go in a direction and change as needed than to sit idle complaining about what a hard life I have.
The fun part of the game is when I get the chance to play it and what I want to do and where I want to be is exactly what I will be doing that day. So play the game today and while you may not win it the first time around think about what you need to do so next time you will be able to win.