Bullying and anti-bullying are buzz words all over the education arena these days. How do we identify bullies? What should we do with bullies? What are those who are bullied supposed to do?
Honestly, I know that there is a lot to this. I know that kids are being picked on. I know that it hurts. I know that it causes deep wounds. However, we learn from every hard thing in our lives. Like coal turning into diamonds, the pressure we feel encourages us to be better – if we are encouraged to be better. I have learned very little from the times in my life when I have felt good about myself. I have learned from the hard times.
I have learned resiliency. And where is that in any of the curriculum around bullying?
I think that we all need to rethink bullying in terms of how Taylor Swift showed us how she deals with bullies earlier this week at the Grammy award show.
During the 2009 MTV video music award show, Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech by taking away the microphone and saying, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!”
How awful! What a bully! Seriously – there is no other word for that rude “gesture.”
I am sure that many Taylor Swift fans wondered what she would in response to that horrible man’s publically humiliating attack on her.
Instead of taking Kanye to court (the grown up version of a school child telling the teacher), Taylor decided that she would take the high road. She kept doing what she does best – writing music and singing it. And winning awards.
“There’s really no feeling quite like writing a song about someone who’s completely mean to you and completely hates you, and then winning a Grammy for it.”
In the performance on the live telecast, she even changed the words in the final chorus…
Someday – I’ll be singing this at the Grammy’s…
And all you’ll ever be is mean…
I think that this whole scenario should be worked into the curriculum that we use in schools for bullying (if we even use curriculum, but that is another blog altogether!). Making something great like a Grammy award winning song from a really horrible experience is a great way to deal with adversity.
What did Taylor have in her resource bucket that allowed her to do this? That is what we need to focus on with students. Instead of developing anti-bullying curriculum, let’s give all students the resources – the assets – that they need in order to be great participants in society. The Search Institute provides excellent resources for schools, parents, and community leaders in this area of building assets, forming resiliency, and helping students become healthy, productive citizens.
That is where I believe our focus should be so that students learn to deal with any adversity that comes their way and turn a horrible situation into a Grammy award winning performance.