Most every human being I know loves acknowledgement, and to give genuine acknowledgement is a wonderful gift to give. It is the intentionality that is gifted. From your heart to my heart, or my heart to your heart.

What about when this is in reverse? When the intention is to hurt or harm? When it lands in our heart like a bruise or a blow?

The age old parable, ‘sticks and stones might break my bones but names will never hurt me’ seems to have been shunted to the oldest most unopened box in the basement. As a society, we have forgotten how to build resilience around this naming and shaming.

We have become so sensitive that any comment has become an opportunity for us to take offence. But in the very act of being offended we are simultaneously relinquishing our authority to the person doing the naming and shaming. And is so doing we are choosing, yes choosing, the path of victim hood.

We are raising children who have no mechanisms to recognise that they are the ones that have the power to allow the authorship of another over them. A bully only gets away with bullying when they have a victim. We can spend the next few decades pointing to the bully as being in the wrong (and I am not condoning bullying at all. Speaking always from care and love is my aspiration for myself and others) or we can take the time to teach our kids, and ourselves, that the moment we give the bully authority over us with their words and actions, we have given ourselves permission to be victims.

It always takes two. We need to be responsible both for the words we speak and their intention, and the words that are spoken to us and our granting of them authority over us.

Photo taken March 7th, 2020



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