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Need “positive spirit” intervention

June 21, 2010

I have to admit it: this “business” gets me down sometimes.

The past few months have been rough: children taking their own lives on nearly a daily basis because they feel it’s the only way to escape bullying in their lives. Other kids assaulted because of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or merely because they are “different.” Parents wanting better solutions, but schools feeling they can’t afford to do more because of the tough economy. And legislators passing new laws, in hopes that the potential perps will take notice and stop their anti-social and criminal behavor.  After all, we have to do SOMETHING.

This lack of “good news on the horizon” wears on me at times and lately it has been very hard to “keep the faith.” I’m fighting a fight not unlike trying to find a cure for cancer.  In my case, however, we can provide a cure to many of the problems facing schools and our communities, but it requires an enlightened group of individuals on the other end to see that there IS a solution.

I have so many people tell me that what we’re doing is so needed and so “commendable,” and when I see the results I know we’re onto something big. At the same time, though, when we hear continuously about kids literally dying…well, you wonder sometimes if the problem isn’t too big, or if our society isn’t just too far gone.

I decided over the weekend, though, that getting depressed and negative isn’t going to fix anything. As I share with students during my presentations, “like begets like” and if I stay focused on how big the problem is and that change is too hard, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, I’m going to go on a “positive focus” diet — I’m going to take this summer and really stay connected with the positive impacts we are having, whether large or small.  Any progress is still progress and even a marathon has to start with one step.

But, here’s where I want to ask for a favor: if you believe that what we at SocialSmarts are doing is a good thing and worthwhile, I’d love it if you’d drop us a note or comment with a bit of cheer now and then.  When we get an email from a parent telling us how their child has changed so much for the better, or from a teacher thanking us for giving her a framework for a more productive classroom, that can just make our week!

If you’re familiar with the “Starfish Story” of the little boy who is tossing beached starfish back in the water, and when confronted by an old man who points out that he can’t possibily make a difference to all of them, the little boy tosses another one out to the water and replies, “I made a difference to that one.”

I want to focus on the difference we make to each and every student, school, teacher or family, because knowing “we made a difference to that one” keeps us going when so much tragedy is going on in our world.

Thanks, everyone for all you do and the positive feedback. Together we can make a difference to a great many “starfish” in this massive sea.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Tranquil1 permalink
    June 25, 2010 11:50 am

    “Any progress is still progress and even a marathon has to start with one step.”

    Although the last administrator at my kids’ school wasn’t very open to new programs, I believe our next one is a bit more open. So my hope is that this person will carefully review the materials.

    In the meantime, your posts and information are always helpful to those of us who are trying to make progress.

    • Corinne Gregory permalink*
      June 25, 2010 12:04 pm

      Appreciate the comment and positive support. Day 4 of the “positive spirit” diet and I’m hangin’ in there!

  2. December 30, 2010 5:26 pm

    I too get down and feel like there is no progress at times. This is such an emotional topic as the damage done to our children is lifelong. Since my son’s bullying experiences and my work to advocate for all children began I have seen many change their attitudes. It does seem like nothing is happening, especially when we hear of another life lost, but then when I get a call or email from a parent we had been helping telling me that their child is improving it makes things easier to deal with. Just like the little boy throwing the starfish back into the water it is one child at a time we need to focus on. We need to remember that while we can’t help them all at once we can make a difference one at a time. I know that with what you are doing and with what we are doing here at Parents Advocating for Safe Schools we will make a difference in many lives. While we may not see the fruit of our labor all the time the word is getting out and it is helping many. We can NOT give up and we MUST keep the faith that we are helping the children of the future. God Bless You for your efforts in this continuing battle to stop the bullying.

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