When people are caught up in their own little worlds they not only miss a great deal they also inadvertently can do damage.

What is wrong with our children these days? As Shakespeare wrote, “The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves.” Watch what the adults do and say and you will see why the kids are the way they are.

Many of us become frustrated with situations that we see our own children confronting as they move into adulthood:
Supervisors at part time jobs playing favorites and treating others without respect.
Overt and covert bullying and mobbing.
Managers that don’t care how the job gets done as long as it gets done.
Athletic coaches that tolerate infantile behavior on the part of some players, or don’t keep their promises to others.
Kids that get special privileges or avoid consequences because of who their parents are or know rather than having to measure up like others do.
People compromising their values in order to belong.

All of these situations are not lost on our children and are not lost on adults who are watching and may feel helpless to do anything to change it.

These are the seeds that put down the roots of deep anger.
This is where survivalist attitudes are born.
This is when we begin to disassociate ourselves from each other and trust becomes shattered.
This is how people become driven by fear and suspicion rather than hope and opportunity.

None of this is new. But the intensity of the anger that is felt is growing.

The time for suffering or watching others suffer in silence is past.
We must take a stand or we risk the future.
Those of us who see and experience these issues must speak up.
Not with intensity of emotion but by simply saying “No.”

Too often people just walk away and no one knows why.
Too often people do not speak up but complain to each other.
Too often people walk around feeling angry, frustrated, and powerless.
Too often those who are not affected see what happens but look away and say nothing.
Too often parents and adults who espouse ethics do not demonstrate these when it becomes personal.

We may feel that if situations like this do not directly affect us we should stay out of them. But eventually they do affect us. They impact the future for all of us.

We can take a stand by not participating in activities that are in conflict with our basic values, and above all expressing why we are saying “No.”

We cannot honor each other if we do not honor ourselves. And that means being true to the highest and best within us. We set an example for those around us, both children and adults.

To establish trust with others we must first be able to trust ourselves. Here are ten tips for trust that can help us begin that process. We must own these in order to demonstrate them. Whatever we do for or to others leaves its mark on us too.

1. Let others know what to expect.
2. Be consistent.
3. Be honest without being cruel.
4. Keep promises.
5. Don’t take things personally
6. Don’t slam someone for making a mistake.
7. Give others the benefit of the doubt.
8. Practice forgiveness.
9. Say “please” and “thank you.”
10. Look for something to appreciate, then say it.

Belonging and survival are two of the five basic human needs. The feeling of being left out is a strong memory for many adults. Survival includes both physical needs being met and the survival of the spirit. When people are treated as if they are invisible, sooner or later they will be compelled to make their presence known, either in a positive way or negative way.

What can you do today to make one invisible person visible?
What can you do today to begin establishing trust?
What can you do today to help one person belong?
What can you do today to elevate one human spirit?
What can you do to demonstrate your personal sense of honor?
What can you do to quietly take a stand?

“He who saves one person saves the world.” – The Talmud

Have a great day and be good to yourself. You deserve it!

©2003 Gail Pursell Elliott All rights reserved.
Food For Thought is part of the Dignity and Respect message that is Innovations. If you enjoyed this Food For Thought message, feel free to share with people you know (family, friends, co-workers) Re-distribution in any form or for commercial use, including reproducing or displaying Food for Thought on your website, requires permission. Contact Gail at info@innovations-training.com or at 515.388.9600

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Author's Bio: 

Gail is author of the book School Mobbing and Emotional Abuse: See It – Stop It – Prevent It with Dignity and Respect, “Food For Thought”, a column that is distributed internationally by email and is often reprinted in various publications, and co-author of the book Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace.

Speaker, Author, Trainer and Consultant,a member of American Mensa and the American Society for Training and Development, she is founder of Innovations “Training With A Can-Do Attitude” , located in central Iowa.

www.innovations-training.com Gail has been a guest on such programs as MSNBC’s Deborah Norville Tonight, ABC World News Now television programs and the Workplace Violence Today program on talk radio.