Thursday, February 28, 2013

Treat Others How You Want to Be Treated

Have you all seen this video?

It's been circulating around Facebook quite a bit, and I first saw it yesterday.  Such a heart warming display not just by the player at the end of the video, but by the coach, the team, and everyone involved with that young man's life.

My first thought was THAT'S the kind of attitude I want my kids (both biological and non) to have, but it's so much more deeper than that.

Here is a coach, a high school basketball coach, who did everything in his power to give his manager a shot at fulfilling his dream.  A guy that didn't care if the game was won or lost, that boy was going to get his time on the court. And those five minutes on the court probably meant everything to that boy.  He wouldn't have cared whether or not he shot a basket or if the other team member did what he did, it was about having just a few moments to do something he'd probably had been told he wouldn't really ever be able to do.  Just play in a game.

And then a high school boy from the opposite team, knowing that his team was down by only a few points and victory was still a possibility, gave it all up to further help another boy from another team get a few minutes of victory.  He knew that his team would go on and win other games.  He knew that he was giving up his own chance of victory for the sake of someone else's.  And that was perfectly OK to him.  He uttered the words that was the reason I teared up when I watched this video... "I've been raised to treat others the way I would want to be treated".

What a powerful statement.  Right?

I'm not really sure where I'm going with all of this, but I know that it's important.

It seems as though, as a society, we've become obsessed with bullying and trying to prevent it.  As a teacher and a mother I watch and hear about preventing bullying, teaching kids that bullying isn't right, and as sad as it is to say - skewing the lines about what is and what isn't bullying.

We've become so focused on trying to prevent bullying, that we're really missing a golden opportunity to turn our thoughts and focus around.  Instead of teaching our kids not to bully, we should really be focusing on that special message - Just treat others how you'd want to be treated.

Instead of teaching what not to do, it really comes down to teaching our kids what they should do.

In my classroom I'm a firm advocate for not forcing my kids to be friends with anyone.  I don't hone in on kids that could be victims of bullying and try and make the other kids be nice to those kids.  I have a couple, believe me.  Instead, I treat the facts of life:  You are going to end up working along side people you may not like, may not understand.  You won't be friends with everyone you have to work along side.  But, those people may be able to offer help when you need it, they may be able to offer assistance with a job you can't do on your own, you will have to take orders from and follow orders from some of those people.  And, more than likely, you'll be able to offer them assistance or help them with their jobs in order to get the work completed faster and more efficiently.  The only way to truly see through the low level of whether or not you can like or be friends with a person, is to treat everyone the way you want to be treated.

I've often told the stories of Bill Gates being bullied in school or the "nerds" ending up running companies.  I've shared how kids who were popular in school often mistreated the kids that weren't, and ended up working for those less popular kids.  Or going back to a high school reunion and finding out that the star quarterback is now overweight, working a dead end job, and is very unhappy.  And then that star quarterback has to greet that kid in school that nobody understood and he constantly made fun of only to find out that he's a millionaire running a Fortune 500 company.

What I guess I'm really trying to say is that we really need to put more focus on treating others how you want to be treated.  Period.  Easy to do?  No.  Possible?  Yes.

And it's not just kids.  People of all ages could really use that mantra in their daily lives.  With the constant battles I witness on Facebook, to things I see in the real world on a daily basis... if we just all started treating others the way we want to be treated, this world would be a much nicer place to live.

Don't you think?


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