While walking through Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery with my friend Julie, she pointed out nobody cares about genocides. Not really. After all it will never happen to them.
People care about bullying.
Bullying happens. A lot. School yard bullies graduate to board rooms.
Have you ever teased a little too far or not acted with kindness when you were feeling unhappy or insecure? Bullies act because they’re not secure.
Bullying and genocide share DNA. Genocides, the Holocaust, hate crimes – are merely bullying on steroids.
The Holocaust started as aggressive bullying way before Kristallnacht (1938) and Germany’s invasion of Poland (1939). It started in 1933 with Hitler Youth learning to spot Jews, and beat up weaker ‘youth’. Hitler youth turned in parents who didn’t support Hitler. They learned new songs…
Hitler youth were primed and ready for genocide. Why did they get so wrapped up in this identity? What was wrong with their authentic selves?
I wonder how this relates to branding on Facebook and Twitter in the wild world of social media.
It’s a similar question to why kids join gangs: the need to belong. To be liked.
After the recent Boston bombings, the ‘experts’ chimed in about what makes a terrorist:
“Terrorists are people who are alienated. They have a confused identity… not ‘x’, not ‘y’… not connected to family or to parents… they find a new identity on the internet…” (summarized and pulled from various sources)
Red flag: people are turning to the internet to build community, AND to discover who they are, or who they want to be. HUH???
“Those who don’t love themselves as they are rarely love life either.” Rachel Naomi Remen
For self-love, here’s my 5 strategies for secure identities:
Step 1: KNOW your strengths, weaknesses, challenges. Learning about yourself can’t be googled. It’s complex and includes race, religion, gender, nationality, looks, socio-economics, and, our innate personality or what I call ‘naked identity’: who you are without your ‘stuff’.
The best way to undress your naked identity is through the DiSC assessment tool. The DiSC uncovers how you behavior, act, react, deal with conflict, work and your natural abilities as well as challenges.
I had an education student who was told to be an engineer – inside he was an English major. Look around your office/classroom – are people their inside ‘selves’, or doing/being what others expect from them?
I’d put money on the mean, grumbling person not being their DiSC style. Don’t judge others for not being like you. Accepting someone else helps them accept you. Focus on you.
Step 2: Let your values guide your action
Identify your values (click here to identify yours). Live them. Believe me it’s hard. And realize: you and I may value ‘relationships’ but define it very differently. Understanding these differences in defining them is what’s key to security.
Step 3: Listen to yourself
Everyone has an opinion about who you should be and what you should do. Chances are those ‘everyone’s’ are telling you what they want. I bet they have a different DiSC style and values than you. Moments of Awareness is the best and easiest way to listen carefully.
Your ‘friend’s’ not quite complimentary comment that leaves you wondering how you feel – about the comment, him/her, and yourself? Listen: it’s more about the commenter than you. Listen to yourself.
Step 4: Care more about yourself
This may sound selfish – but just the opposite. You can’t take care of anyone else unless you’re secure in yourself. Taking care of yourself makes it easier to listen to others.
Step 5: Don’t be a victim of Identity Theft: Believe in yourself
to understand which of their values aren’t met. Learn and ‘listen’ if it is in line with YOUR identity.
Step 6: Share your identity
D., a young American-Korean woman I met in Berlin said it best: A secure identity means you can explain who you are to others. Practice till you can.
What is your identity?
How does knowing your identity keep you from lashing out to others?
What do you think we need to teach others to prevent bullying – and genocides?