Mrs. Crabtree and Auntie Em often take our families on outings. While on these outings we try to put in as much “us” time as possible while still engaging with our children and husbands. Here is a snippet of our conversation while waiting to ride the train.
|Mrs. Crabtree||Auntie Em|
|While on a family outing together, Auntie Em was discussing the possibility of sharing the events of the Holocaust with the bugs as a guest teacher. |
The topic of people accepting things and not speaking up and interfering sparked a more local, real time example of bystanders. I mentioned the news coverage of the baseball fan who was brutally beaten by fans of the opposing team. The reports indicate that some friends tried to help, but there were many bystanders. I have to believe they had compelling reasons NOT to interfere. Times are indeed scary and I was not there to witness, so my choice is to believe those who acted did, and the rest had their reasons - good bad or otherwise.
|We had a brief discussion about the timeline of where the bugs are in world history as well as if they were to young to discuss the details of this big event. It was determined that there is plenty of time till they get to this point in history and if we give them a bit of time to age, we can go into more depth and detail. |
One of the things that we mentioned was how do you discuss stopping this terrible thing from happening again and how it is actually still currently happening, of course on a smaller scale (ex: a genocide such as in Darfur, etc. http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/dictat.html). Armenians, Lebanese, Cambodians, colonization, slavery, etc. As we know about the terrible things that are happening right now how do we stop it from happening, how do we stand back, as bystanders, and let it happen, how does this type of thing become acceptable to keep happening in the world?
The general person is not prepared to deal with conflicts, emergencies, etc. That may be one of the compelling reasons people do not act, because they do not confidently know WHAT to do. My husband, Hunny, interjected Incident command training - what to do in the event of an emergency and how a lot of the staff Auntie Em works with do not necessarily know what to do in the event of an emergency.
I mentioned that at my work we train our Resident Assistants to deal with emergencies by doing mock run throughs. We pretend the emergency is happening and practice “what would you do” with these mock ups. I believe that this practice helps most of them for when and if a real emergency will happen. It is true that no matter what happens it is important to put yourself first because if you break up a fight and get injuried before you made sure someone else was knowing about the fight because if you are knocked out the fight is going to keep going on and there wont be anyone to report it.
So, if you follow the bystander discussion and bring it back to let’s say “genocide” there isn’t really a way to prepare on how to deal with it but taking into consideration all the times it has happened historically, “humanity” should have a “How to Stop Genocide for Dummies” book.
|But we don’t have such a book. So it is our job to educate our bugs in these past events, globally and locally. |
Not moments after our conversation dwindled, a little boy in line to ride the train got bumped and ended up with a bloody nose. I happened to have a pocketful of napkins, so I asked the Mom (who was using a hat) if she would like my napkins. She thanked me and proceeded to treat her son - pinching his nostrils and having him lean his head back. I was concerned with her technique - not child abuse concerned, just that she was using a well know, yet WRONG method of stopping a nose bleed. It’s what my mom used on me when I was a child, and I’m just fine - but it is not medically correct. So I’m pacing a bit because I don’t want to criticise this Mother’s parenting - and I just whisper to Auntie Em - “so when do you interfere”? and she giggles and laughs ...
DOH, as Homer Simpson would say... so I politely correct the mother and explain the head should be titled forward, not back and why as well as show her the proper place to pinch the nose to stop the bleeding.
it’s the whole bystander thing!
As I watched this all happen between the MOM and Mrs. Crabtree I was thinking, “I probably would have not done anything with the mom, one because I don’t want to touch someone elses blood and two I tend to mind my own business and not want to get a stranger upset with me. But then again it could have been the circumstances, how often do you get the chance to talk about something and then put it into action INSTANTLY! I also felt proud for Mrs. Crabtree because she did act. But this is a perfect example of exactly what we were talking about - when do you act to stop something bad from happening?
|Circumstances constantly amaze me, and the things that I learn from Auntie Em impact my life. A few days after our train ride and bystander discussion, I was able to see another example. Perhaps even an example we can use with the bugs at their level. While reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to my 6th grade class I came across an example of bystander. The main character Mrs. Frisby is rushing home with medicine for her son. Nightfall is imminent and night is bad for mice - despite all this Mrs. Frisby CHOOSES to stop and help the crow, who is tangled in some ribbon and cannot fly. Even though the crow got himself into the mess, she puts her own life at risk and even that of her son...Way to get involved and not be a bystander. |
I can’t wait to use this book to spark the discussion of bystanders with our bugs!
From the Library? Gross. Do you know how many people have touched that book?
I’ll get it from the library and we can use it as a book for summer school. Using age appropriate ways to discuss these types of topics!
Bystander - a person present but not involved; chance spectator; onlooker.