This being my first time running for a cause, I wondered what to expect on such an important day, not only as a runner but also as a Respect Jamaica Youth ambassador. I was about to withdraw, because of some issues I had and said this in our whatsapp group.
However, my friend Neville would not have it and reassured me that I had nothing to worry about. On the day leading up to the event, I was amused at the vibe of the ambassadors there and later became relaxed and ready to do my part.
The fun didn’t stop as we all wanted to do the Fun Run and during that time, with the paint, the obstacles and the vibe being created among ourselves and with other participants , no one was left behind.The unfortunate part for me was the lack of water and persons started chanting “We Want Water” during to Fun Run.
I applaud Digicel for adding that aspect to the event as not only does it give people more options as to what they want to do. I believe it removes all doubt from your mind, that you would not be able to complete the 5k Fun Run.
What I’ve learnt form this experience is that unfortunately, we are not always constant as it relates to learning about persons with special needs. We miss out on the most important part which is that they are able to function just as the average human being.
This is why Respect Jamaica took part, as not only is it considered a phenomenon that we can create awareness on. However respect is required to help break barriers in understanding something new or unknown.
We grow up wanting to be apart of a group and often times being apart of it, gets us into trouble that we may or may not be able to manage. With the influence created from these interactions, it may result in two different types of people; leaders and followers.
Of course, the followers are behind the influencers and are often considered weak in comparison to their leaders. Leaders on the other hand, manage and issue responsibilities for each member, so duties can be executed, based on the nature of the group.
According to Mcleod in his article of Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development (2008), “Individuals at age 5-12 go through the stage of Industry vs Inferiority. At this stage they will be learning to read and write, to do sums, to do things on their own. Teachers begin to take an important role in the child’s life as they teach the child specific skills.
It is at this stage that the child’s peer group will gain greater significance and will become a major source of the child’s self esteem. The child now feels the need to win approval by demonstrating specific competencies that are valued by society, and begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments. If children are encouraged and reinforced for their initiative, they begin to feel industrious and feel confident in their ability to achieve goals. If this initiative is not encouraged, if it is restricted by parents or teacher, then the child begins to feel inferior, doubting his own abilities and therefore may not reach his or her potential.
If the child cannot develop the specific skill they feel society is demanding (e.g. being athletic) then they may develop a sense of inferiority. Some failure may be necessary so that the child can develop some modesty. Yet again, a balance between competence and modesty is necessary. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of competence”.
Based on their experience, a child’s reaction can result in them being abrasive in their industrious behaviour resulting in persons being bullied.
Unfortunately, with these actions it results in persons being affected on varying levels. Whether it is being teased or called names, being kicked and shoved, having lies told on them or being ignored. Some of these behaviours that children learn are from their own guardians. We can assume as well that because of the problems that these children face in their surroundings and peers, they know nothing else than to “act out”on weak persons.
As we grow older, some of us eventually get over the past and we believe we won’t allow persons to treat us the same way. Our experiences of being bullied can make use achieve the better of the realm from Erikson’s stage. Then there are those who are not able to forgive those who did them wrong and judge other persons based on their unfortunate experiences, assuming that they will hurt them also.
What if we meet these same people again? What would we do?
I remember meeting my bully in the town on a couple of occasions. Though I said Hi to her after she said Hi, I was shocked for a few good minutes. In my mind I’m saying
Hol’ Up!!!!!! Whol’ on, you figet wah you do to me?
That’s the thing…these people may not remember what they did to you, they may apologize, they may not. It’s up to you to let them know that it affected you, and accept the apology if there is one, forgive but not forget.
If we have had this experience; yes we have had troubles of our own. Would you forgive this person? Would you allow your experiences to dictate how you live your life? or would you do your best to rise above it?
Don’t get me wrong, this is not for us to forget what happened. However consider these as life lessons and not regrets. We should not let our past define who we are.
Source: McLeod, S. (2008). Erik Erickson. Retrieved from Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages, http://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html
Child Development Agency. (2015). Study on the Prevalence and Impact of Bullying in Jamaica . Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/cdajm/photos/pb.118613151504525.-2207520000.1447896086./1058876714144826/?type=3&thea