Bullying: We are what we think: Valerie Mason-John -video

We are what we think: Valerie Mason-John

Published on Nov 25, 2013 TED videos  How can we stop bullying in the world? Over 60 % of kids say they’ve been bullied at school, and for every one ‘successful’ suicide there’s over 100 attempted suicides.

A survivor of bullying, Valerie Mason-John uses her expertise as a bully doctor and personal experience, to suggest that bullying does not have to be part of every day life. In this gritty, moving and powerful talk Mason-John gives a clear message, that our ‘stinking thinking’ can be the cause of bullying.  And when we bully ourselves we will bully everyone around us. She outlines a course of action we can take to work with this global epidemic.

Award-winning author Dr Valerie Mason-John works as a Bully Doctor for several School Boards in Canada. Her books include Detox Your Heart, working with anger, fear and hatred. Valerie co-edited the first national anthology of African Canadian Poetry, The Great Black North, published in 2013. Demeter Press has published her most recent novel, the North American edition of her award winning novel Borrowed Body, 2013. In January 2014 she will launch her new book Eight Step Recovery — Using the Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction. She lives in British Columbia, Canada.

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  • Clyde Duncan  On 11/30/2013 at 5:57 pm

    I was present for Valerie’s, and other poet’s presentations at the proclamation of Black History Month, February 2013, at Vancouver City Hall.

  • Marguerite Fisher-Boodhoo  On 11/30/2013 at 9:27 pm

    Does she have Guyanese heritage?

    • Clyde Duncan  On 12/02/2013 at 3:24 pm

      Marguerite: The Bully Doctor answered your question, below – I say we tell her that her father is Guyanese, for the heck of it – We proud of her!!

  • Natzkie Ortiz  On 12/01/2013 at 2:13 am

    Anyone nowadays can be bullied especially childrens.Those who were victims of bullying, we should help them and let them know that its not their fault while regaining their confidence.I was scanning a few blogs,I found this article on a Safety Service. Its a great application which you can get connected to your safety network and can escalate your call to the nearest 911 when needed.Its a great application for us to be safe always.Check it here:http://www.SafeKidZone.com/

  • walter  On 12/02/2013 at 1:59 am

    When I came to Canada,we landed right in the middle of the Paki bashing period.My son is a dark looking Indian,his two sisters took more to the portugese,with light skin and hair.He was beaten everyday,clothes torn,mostly because I told him,seek the help of the teachers,compromise.My wife got involved,her advice,pick one and punch the crap out of him,they were going to beat you anway.Well for him it worked,bullies are usually cowards,the teachers did nothing to prevent the bullying The bullies turned out to be his “friends”.A lot of the other kids tormented turned to him for help.I am not saying this is the correct method. In NorthAmerica,the longer you wait to take a stand,your life could end up being kind of hard, with mental bullying.

  • The Bully Doctor  On 12/02/2013 at 6:25 am

    I am Sierra Leonian – well that is where my mother is from – I have never met my father and have absolutely no idea who he is – so am I Guyanese – well your guess is as good as mine – thank you

  • Tara  On 12/03/2013 at 2:33 am

    For many years I harbored much resentment for those who bullied me all through grade school and even high school but all this did was made me a miserable person. But, I got the biggest breakthrough in college when the topic came up for discussion and everyone shared their perspective on the darkness of this subject.

    Well, low and behold, I was taken aback to learn that almost every one in that discussion encountered some form of bullying and some old wounds ruptured all over again. But, I’ve also learned that most bullies were themselves bullied and this was a form of defense mechanism to help cope with their rage/pain.

    This debate was truly cathartic for me and believed it gave me the fighting spirt I’ve developed overtime. It also gave me the opportunity to reasses my angst towards those who had made my life a living hell at such tender years. I can now understand the pain they too endured in their lives.

    Bullies learn what they live. Sometimes we all have to take a deep pause at our upbringing to find the true source of this problem. Many may say this is utter nonsense but children were not born evil but life experience is certainly the source of such wickedness.

    For those of us who remember the old adage “spare the rod and spoil the child” Well, this is where BULLYING started. Here you have someone who is much older, bigger and wiser, using his/her MIGHT on a defenceless being to hurt in order to extort discipline.

    You wonder where domestic violence came from? We learn what we live.!

    • Bully Doctor  On 12/05/2013 at 1:34 am

      It was inspiring to read your share – thank you. We are on the same page for sure – I love it ‘children were not born evil but life experience is certainly the source of such wickedness’ ‘Bullies learn what they live’ It is like listening to my talk from some one who knows. And well done for cultivating compassion to those who have hurt you in childhood – you are an example of change. Thank you so much for your generous comment

  • The Bully Doctor  On 12/05/2013 at 1:35 am

    Oh and thank you for adopting me into your community

  • gigi  On 12/05/2013 at 6:03 am

    I was surprised to learn from research that contrary to popular belief, bullies are not cowards but are very narcissistic individuals. And that narcissistic individuals are those who have actually been well loved and made the center of their parents’ universe. These individuals have always been told how pretty and special they are and have always received favored treatment and attention. This environment led them to have a shallow and grandiose opinion of themself which, when exposed to criticisms and/or people who are not impressed with them, lead them to bullying to get the attention they feel they are entitled to.

  • gigi  On 12/05/2013 at 6:54 pm

    Though this worth sharing in the interest of raising kids with self-esteem versus narcissism

    Excerpt from the article: Self-Esteem Versus Narcissism
    The Value of Self-Esteem and the Dangers of Narcissism

    “”Vanity is a fantasized image of the self that is formed when parents substitute empty praise and a false buildup for the real love and acknowledgment they have failed to provide to their child.” Such parents leave their children feeling unseen and with a sense of pressure to be someone they aren’t. On the other hand, parents who are attuned to their children and genuinely responsive to them leave their offspring feeling seen and validated. These children grow up with an accurate sense of who they are and healthy self-esteem.

    Studies have shown that children offered compliments for skills they haven’t mastered or talents they do not possess are left feeling as if they’d received no praise at all, often even emptier and less secure. Only children praised for real accomplishments were able to build self-esteem. The others were left to develop something far less desirable–narcissism. Unnatural pressure or unearned buildup can lead to increased insecurities and anxieties that foster narcissism over self-confidence.

    Narcissism encourages envy and hostile rivalries, where self-esteem supports compassion and cooperation. Narcissism favors dominance, where self-esteem acknowledges equality. Narcissism involves arrogance, where self-esteem reflects humility. Narcissism is affronted by criticism, where self-esteem is enhanced by feedback. Narcissism makes it necessary to pull down others in order to stand above them. Self-esteem leads to perceiving every human being as a person of value in a world of meaning.”


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