POSTED BY: BOB KNOTTS
A personal view from Humanity Project Founder, Bob Knotts:
Bullying even comes from adults sometimes — often arrogant adults who try to bully their way to success.
Arrogance has been much in the news lately. Especially arrogance by political candidates, along with the usual boasting by some pop stars and athletes. Our culture seems permeated with it. And that got me thinking about the impact that arrogance by public figures has on our kids. Imagine if you were a student in, say, middle school, hearing bits and pieces of the blather from some political candidates — and seeing the apparent admiration this has attracted from a big segment of the voting population. You might easily confuse arrogance with confidence, might believe that being bombastic is just a way of being outgoing. You could begin to get the idea that arrogance is a good thing.
But it’s not. Most of us already understand this if we stop and think. And adults who influence children must stop and think — often. Arrogance is only insecurity cloaked in bluster. It comes from people who feel deeply unsure about themselves in many important ways, and so rely on bragging about one or two qualities they believe they do possess. Arrogance also may lead to lack of sincere effort, which reduces real chances for success. “I’m already great at this so I don’t need to try!” I believe that sort of attitude is a recipe for mediocrity at best … failure at worst. So I’m making the case here for you to cast a skeptical eye on all the arrogance floating through our media these days — and to raise the topic with those kids of yours. What do they think about these people? Where do they think arrogance comes from? Does it really work? How does it make other people feel about themselves? These sorts of questions can help them to cast a skeptical eye on arrogance as well, whether it’s arrogance from public figures or from other adults and kids they know. Critical thinking about this topic can encourage them to form more constructive approaches in their own daily lives, now and in the future.
As I noted in a recent blog, the Humanity Project’s main website here at www.thehumanityproject.com is for adults — programs, materials, ideas and more intended to help you help your kids. You may be a parent, grandparent, teacher, therapist, counselor or any other person in a position to affect the attitudes of children. This organization is all about adults working with kids to create arts-based programs that in turn will help other kids cope with problems such as bullying and distracted driving and social isolation. We help kids to help kids. It’s up to us as adults to make sure our kids get the insight and information they need to grow into healthy, responsible adults. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t always make that an easy task. With a little extra effort on our part, though, we can nudge those kids in the right direction.