Somewhere along the line, some people forgot what they learned in kindergarten — play fair, share everything and don’t hit people.
Those and other lessons out of Robert Fulghum’s famous book, All I Really Need To know I Learned In Kindergarten, can be applied to children at an early age and could even help reduce incidents of bullying, as long as caregivers, parents and educators reinforce those simple lessons in how to get along.
Of course, as we all know, getting past bullying is not that simple. Yes, it’s possible to start with straightforward tenets but issues surrounding bullying are quite complex and not easily solved. From grade school to the adult workplace, bullying can take on many forms. And there are almost as many ways to try to stop this behaviour.
One area in which a lot of people agree is a good place to start is in education. That is, getting the issue out in the open, talking about it and eliminating the barriers to helping solve problems faced both by bully and victim.
The efforts behind Pink Shirt Day today (Wed., Feb. 27) are aimed at just that — opening up about bullying and showing unity in spreading tolerance. While wearing a pink shirt can only show general acceptance of a more inclusive community, it cannot be the only thing we do to stop bullying.
First and foremost, we have to live each day as if we are wearing that pink shirt — that symbol of tolerance and acceptance, combined with a healthy dose of curiosity so we can learn about the differences between us and not be fearful of them.
Next, we need to set the example among our peers instead of following along with the herd. Taking that bold step can often be the difference.