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Monday, January 7, 2013

Jennifer Hancock's Bully Vaccine

by Cyrus Webb

Through my conversations with individuals through Conversations the radio show and the magazine I have been able to not only bring attention to issues that matter but also learn something along the way. Such was the case with author and humanist Jennifer Hancock. Before prepping to interview her about the book THE BULLY VACCINE I couldn't remember ever hearing of humanism before. Now I understand that it is exactly what I have tried to do with my life and the platform I have: live life to the fullest, love other people and leave the world a better place. What a great thing for all of us.

Through the work she is privileged to do, Jennifer has made a mark that is literally helping to transform the way people see themselves and the work they have to do here on earth. They are learning to be better., and it has begun by as Jennifer says making a "cconscious decision how we are going to approach life."

That's just it: It's an actual shift in our thinking and our perception of who we are. "Regardless of the difficulties I have in life," says Jennifer, "I'm a happy person. At the end of the day I know I am doing my best to be an ethical individual. Am I perfect? No one is, but I am making a conscious effort to be in control of my emotions so that I can be that good, compassionate person I want to be."

That compassion is not going unnoticed. Those who have benefited from Hancock's humanistic approach have made it known, and even discussing it made her emotional. "It's really humbling the kind of feedback I get," she told me. "Part of it is that I'm not teaching anything new." She says the fact that others are being helped to see themselves differently is "deeply satisfying."

The book THE BULLY VACCINE by Jennifer is one that is getting a great deal of attention right now and for good reason. It is designed to help parents "vaccinate" their kids against bullies. It is her belief that by preparing for interactions with bullies in advance you can effectively inoculate yourself against the worst of their behavior.

"The goal is to not be the sort of person a bully targets," she told me. "It is much easier to prevent bullying than it is to stop it once it starts. We can do something about it. Teaching kids how not to be bullies is easy. You don't need all of the kids in the school to learn this. You just need some of the kids to learn it so that they can become empowered to stand up for themselves and other kids as well. When others stand up it ends the bullying culture."

Jennifer is convinced that this approach is not only practical but brings about results. "It's such an easy thing to do," she says. "Those of us who care and want to live in a more compassionate society than we do now have a moral obligation to make a commitment to our children to teach them these skills so that we can have that kind of society. It doesn't mean we aren't going to have aggressive kids. Personalities are what they are, but it's about whether the more aggressive kid ever learns how to bully and whether that tactic is successful for them."

Like the rest of her life, Jennifer believes that by teaching others the way to treat others is really a direct result as to how we see ourselves. "We are looking out at the world through our lens," she says. "We are the center of our own universe. What we have to do is realize that our viewpoint is by definition biased because it's ours. By reminding yourself that your viewpoint is faulty helps you to be compassionate towards yourself first and allows you to think of conflict in a whole new way."

Find out more about Jennifer Hancock and her book THE BULLY VACCINE at www.bullyvaccine.com.

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