This article contains two excerpts from the beginning and end of The Bullying Antidote: Superpower Your Kids for Life, by Dr. Louise Hart and Kristen Caven. The book explores how ACEs are created by stress, change, beliefs, and tradition, and provides a guide to positive parenting so that parents can prevent them in their children and communities.
The Bullying Antidote: Zorgos
Bullying is a power dynamic where one person exerts control over another physically, emotionally, or socially. Bullying can be persistent—a focused and repeated pattern—or it can be a single, traumatic event. In the bullying dynamic, one person always loses.
There is no pill, no quick fix for the enormous problem of bullying. But there are thousands of solutions…and we’d like you to have access to them all.
There is a superpower with which we’d like to endow your child, and all children. This power enables them to repel bullies and transform their relationships; it allows them to get what they need without resorting to bullying.
Your child, by possessing this superpower, will:
- Use their heart and mind for the greater good,
- Refuse to put up with bad treatment from peers or from strangers,
- Recognize bullying and stop it before it starts,
- Trust themselves and inspire others,
- Become a model to others with their upstanding qualities, and
- Uplift those around them to think and act in positive ways.
Not only does this superpower prevent bullying, but in fact, it is the antidote to bullying. This superpower is both a challenge to and a balm for the culture of negativity that has been passed down through generations—and is now practiced by families, peers, and the media. An antidote restores health, happiness, and balance, so life can go on about its business.
What is this superpower? Is it friendship? Is it problem-solving? Is it understanding? Yes, it is all of these things. It is also empathy, compassion, connection, kindness, and respect. It is safety, self-esteem, and human rights. It is relationship, assertiveness, peace, wholeness, and foresight. It is resiliency.
But to make this huge superpower concept easier to remember, we’re just going to call it Zorgos.
People who have Zorgos are bigger than bullying. You know people like this. You know people who are great leaders, who are peacemakers, who are insightful and kind. They are powerful individuals! People with Zorgos are mentally healthy, emotionally intelligent. They keep their balance, they believe in themselves, and they influence others to be better people.
What we nurture is what we get. Instead of nurturing bullying, we need to invest in Zorgos at every level of society.
And just in case you were wondering, Zorgos is the Esperanto word for “I will take care.”