Saturday 18 August 2018

Support - humans can be cruel, let's counter with compassion, kindness and support


By Chief Editor and Blog Manager- Amanda-Jane Turner

Have you ever thought about how cruel humans can be to each other? Why can't we build each other up, be a source of inspiration and treat each other with kindness?

I was walking home from the station last week and a memory flicked across my mind, from a long time ago.  Reflecting on the incident I know it was only a small thing, but the memory of the hurt, and my bewilderment over what was said to me, has stayed with me for over thirty years. 

So, make a cuppa, and sit down with me while I tell you all about it.

cup of tea
source unknown
It was 1988, I was at university studying music, a typical perfectionist and study nerd, I did not have many friends and even less self esteem. I was in second year, and it was a late evening of compulsory orchestra practice. I was packing away my music when a first year that I had never spoken to before came up to me. We were all rushing to pack up and go home as practice had gone on really late, yet she made a point of putting her instrument and music down, maneuvering through the milling students, and coming up to me. 

I recall greeting her happily, thinking she was being friendly, and so I enthusiastically asked how she enjoyed orchestra class and then introduced myself. She however seemed to know who I was because she didn't respond to me but instead just looked me up and down, sneered, and said, 'your brother taught me at high school last year. He is really cool, attractive and popular, you are nothing like him I can't believe you are related'. 

Then she walked away.

Okay, it was nothing. Just words. Who cares. seriously it was three decades ago!

So why do I recall it still, with the same sadness and confusion I felt when it was said to me all those years ago?
  • because it hurt.
  • because I had never done anything to this girl and she went out of her way to hurt me,
  • because I felt confused and sad.
  • because it made me hate myself even more than I did.
  • because it was unnecessary, nasty, unsupportive and downright cruel.
So back to my questions, have you ever thought about how cruel humans can be to each other? Why can't we build each other up, be a source of inspiration and treat each other with kindness?

It was only one of the countless times a peer, at school, university, or work, had been nasty to me, verbally or physically bullied me, or ridiculed me, over the first thirty years of my life. However this incident that I recall with pain was worthwhile even though it hurt. 

Do you know why?   

Because it taught me to NEVER treat ANYONE badly. EVER.

Thank you to all those who bullied me, sneered at me and treated me like something disgusting they had stood on. 

  • Because of them I have compassion.
  • Because of them I seek to inspire and motivate others.
  • Because of them I seek to build up and support people.
  • Because of them I can hold my head up high and know that the thoughts of nasty people do not count, as I have the respect of amazing people worth so many times more than the bullies I have encountered over the years.
Why am I sharing this with you all in the Australian Women in Security Network?

Because I believe it is important that we support, motivate and inspire each other and I wanted you all to see how much harm a short but negative interaction can have on someone, decades later.  I wanted to show you all why we need to focus on the positive and be there for each other, with compassion and kindness.

As proud members of the Australian Women in Security Network lets lead the way to being supportive and kind to all we encounter. Let's always work towards Connecting, Supporting, Collaborating  and Inspiring each other in our professional and personal lives.

AWSN connect support collaborate inspire

(c) AWSN 2018

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation or association.

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