Paulo Coelho – Facts on Bullying

Bestselling writer, Paulo Coelho shares some awful statistics on bullying. I agree with him that whilst the data relates to USA, it can be extrapolated with minor variations to every education system in the world;

Paulo Coelho Blog Post

To me, what is key to addressing these issues is that we must not be looking to simply paper over the issues or address symptoms, but rather must work to change the culture of schools and the environment within which children grow up so that the issues that create bullies and victims are addressed at the root.

The Law of Jante

We all live in Jante

I had not come across this concept until today, finishing reading Paulo Coelho’s “Like the Flowing River”.

As described in the BBC website linked below the law of Jante is like the dark side of egalitarianism. It’s all very well to fight for ‘equality’ to right societal injustices, but does that mean that there is no choice but to settle for the flip side.

That flip side is about a society enforced mediocrity, a veiled threat not to stand out. I have personally experienced it most often with the scorn and cynicism regarding ‘working hard’. I once even had a union representative who actually warned me to stop taking work home and staying late ‘because they will start to expect it of all’. That is the Law of Jante at work, an attempt to condemn the person who stands out because their actions are not ‘conforming’.

You have to wonder – how many have lived stunted lives, a fraction of what they could be, could do, could achieve if they had only been able to resist the Law of Jante:

BBC – h2g2
Paulo Coelho’s Blog

(Thanks so much to Rachita Yadav for the wonderful book – worth reading just for this alone)

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