Posted in Bullying, Compassion

Be the change!

We often advise youths how powerful bystanders/witnesses of bullying can be. It has been proven on school playgrounds, in school hallways, if a group of bystanders spoke up about their disapproval of any kind of intimidation or cruel bullying, it usually stops within seconds.

True, many are afraid to get bullied in retaliation if it is only one or two who speak up. I get that. In fact sometimes it is safer to walk away but sometimes even speaking “after” the bullying is helpful too. Telling a person that you feel bad for them or that you understand how difficult this must be.  That can go a long way, telling a youth, they were acknowledged.

As adults we are not much different than youths on playgrounds. On the subway, bus or train, what do we do if someone starts making rude, racist comments to someone?  Do we look the other way?  Do we move to another seat to get away from the person?  Anyone who takes public transit, has witnessed this more than once.

Here is a video that restores hope…it shows how much power we can have in situations like this.  A group of people who know what it means to “be the change”


Muslim woman tells how Newcastle passengers
ejected racist from train




A little bit about moi: I am a mom, a nana, a sister, a woman, a friend, a human being…a youth counsellor, Family Life Educator. I have been working in the helping profession for over 25 years and volunteered in various capacities from youths to seniors. Tournesol is my nom de plume for haiku and other Japanese form poetry here at Tournesoldansunjardin I hope you enjoy reading through my daily waka. I also have another blog "Stop the Stigma" where I may stand on my soapbox now and then and hope it will become a place to drop in and share or comment on issues important to you. In that vein this could be a great way to learn from each other. Namaste!

4 thoughts on “Be the change!

  1. It’s quite normal to have uncharitable feelings related to race or personal characteristics from time to time. But a serious transgression results if one is unable to conceal such feelings in public or in social situations. We don’t live in the Pleistocene anymore. Which leads me to wonder whether American culture’s simultaneous proscription of bias and encouragement to be very forward with emotions in public creates a problem. On the practical side, the calling-out of boorish remarks on buses is noble but may involve risk. The neighborhood, composition of the passenger complement, and whether the remarks are by an individual or emanate from a group of people all should influence the decision whether to raise an objection. If the remark is brief and not repeated, it may be best to let the matter drop. If the apparent bullying persists, it may be appropriate to ask the offender to cease, but in that case one should ensure the driver is aware of the evolving situation. Drivers have responsibility for safety and order on buses, and they have radios to contact the police should things get ugly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well thought out comment. I remember several videos circulating last year on buses and Métros here; on the bus the bus driver never said anything to support three women from being bullied because they wore a hijab…I hear of youths on our helpline who get ostracised on the bus and not much is done. So this video, for me, is a lovely example of what IS possible.

      Liked by 2 people

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