I can’t tell you how much I love it when my posts trigger an exchange of thoughts via the comments and then make you think even more. There were some really great comments on my “Would You Help?” post from yesterday and not only did you guys bring up some valid points but you made me think about the entire issue again.
What I truly loved is to read how many of you would step in and help. There are many different situations in which our help is needed and unfortunately too many don’t step up. What I believe it all comes down is the good old instinct. The gut feeling. And listening to it. When reading your comments I more than once thought how much actually comes down to the way you feel in this very moment. How you feel in the situation, if you have doubts, if you feel something is wrong. Yet again our gut feeling is the most important part of it. The one part we should never ignore. I’d like to share a post from a little while ago again as a Blast From The Past, because I think it somehow fits.
Even if we feel though, that there’s something wrong or for whatever reason the situation could get us in danger there are still ways to do our part and help out. It can be as simple as calling 000 (911), even when we left the scene in order to feel safer. We can still make that call and report it.
So maybe there are two things to keep in mind: Listen to what your instincts tell you and then be kind and find a way to help while staying safe.
And yet so often we don’t! We don’t listen to our gut feeling because we were taught that it’s rude. That we have to be polite and behave according to the rules. So we push that feeling aside and behave accordingly and take a huge risk. Not always will that decision lead to us getting hurt. At least not physically. Sometimes we simply walk away with an experience more under our belt, an experience we would rather not have made and we swear to learn from.
I wonder why we never get really taught to follow our instincts. Yes, you get told to do so, but only if you still apply to the rules and if you still are polite.
So many situations go through my head. You walk your dog and the dog suddenly barks at a person. You tell your dog to stop it and apologize, maybe even feel bad about it and tell your dog off. But what if the dog picked up on negative vibes. What if that barking stopped that person from doing harm to you? Why is it that so often we feel like we have to apologize to a stranger rather than not giving a damn. Let’s be honest: No harm is done from a dog barking at someone. And no harm is done by simply ignoring it and not apologizing as you most probably never see that person again.
Your child doesn’t want to talk to a person and acts “weird”. Suddenly the child that you can hardly stop from chatting with people gets quiet and shy and doesn’t want to be around someone. Instead of taking it as a clear sign you tell your child to mind his or her manners and answer the questions asked by that stranger. And again I wonder why we would do that? Why would we not take it as a sign that something is wrong? That our child picks up on something? Why don’t we trust our child’s instinct?
Is it really so important not to appear rude in the eyes of a stranger?
Is it really much more important than listening to your gut feeling?
I know that there is a fine line between being polite. I want my kids to be polite. I want them to mind their manners. But at the same time I want them to be safe.
If we teach our kids that they have to put being polite above their gut feeling we can also not expect them not to help a stranger in the park find the lost puppy. How can we expect them to decline a candy offered by a stranger in the park when we have told them off prior for not reacting to a strangers? How can we expect them to “think like an adult” when they are still kids? Why would we want them to think like an adult if they still have the best built in alarm system, their instinct, in tact?
There are so many mixed messages thought to our kids. I wish it would be easy to find the right way to make them understand what is the right thing to do. To what point it’s okay to pull back and simply follow your instinct. I wish it would be easy to explain to them what the right behavior, the safe behavior is.
It’s such a balancing act.
I don’t want people to think my kids are rude. They are not rude. I want them to be safe. In order for them to be safer, I want them to follow their instinct, to pick up on those vibes and if they are not comfortable with someone or something to have the guts to drop it, to walk away. And maybe even to get help.
That can actually be done in a polite way. And if someone creates an issue out of it, then maybe that instinct was spot on and that person might have not been a safe person to be around.
I really don’t know if this makes sense or not. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we should all listen to our gut feeling. We should teach our kids to do follow their instincts. Rules can still be followed and manners minded. But they need to know that if they really feel not at ease with something, with someone, that it’s okay to mention it, to walk away. There is a reason why you don’t feel good in a situation and reacting the right way might save your life.