We are a society of achievers. We strive to create, invent, solve and cure. We are always looking for ways to make things quicker and more efficient. Most of our efforts seem to have the same goal:  to make things “better.” So why is the problem of bullying still so prevalent, when the majority of us would agree that it is harmful and unnecessary? There are ribbons, walks, races and petitions for numerous causes – and bullying deserves similar promotions. Make no mistake – bullying is an epidemic that affects nearly every child during their academic years, and follows many of us into the workplace as adults. The only thing that stands in our way in ending the problem of bullying is us – are we willing to make it a priority?

Ending bullying may not be as difficult as you believe. There are small things we can do each day, things we will pass along to the next generation, that are a step in the right direction. As with any problem, awareness is the first step toward resolution. Consider the ways you can increase your awareness around this topic and share your knowledge with others. If you have the time to watch YouTube videos of cats dancing and kids wiping out on snowboards, you have a few moments to Google an article about bullying and read it. In this social media age, where people easily share posts about where they’re going and what they’re eating, take a few moments to post about topics of substance, as well.  By doing this, you are not only sharing information in an effort to make the world a better place, but also role modeling empathy, compassion, responsibility and initiative – all qualities that are incompatible with bullying. It simply takes a small shift in your priorities. Continue to role model these qualities in your everyday life, as well. Take moment to hold the door open for a person who is carrying a child, smile at a grocery store clerk, or compliment a stressed out co-worker. Your compassion and confidence will grow, as will the reach of your positive influence.

Bullying will not be ended through punishment – it just perpetuates the cycle. Quick-fixes and miracle cures do not exist. Bullying will be stopped by passing along qualities of empathy, kindness and responsibility to the younger generation. It will take a great deal of time and persistence for this to be accomplished, but it will also be a solid and long-lasting solution. Consider the world you want to live in, and set your priorities in line with this vision.

Link of the Week: A Positive Sense of Responsibility is Contagious

View my blog on the “Six Things Every Parent Needs to Know about Bullying