Tell Me How To Fix This

I saw the movie Bully Last night: one of the few folks in my circle who waited this long to see it. I mean I am an anti bullying consultant, and I should have been waiting on line to see it sooner but last night was the night. I will say that I received a great deal of feedback from friends and colleagues who did see the movie, and the big cry from all and I mean all of them was that in the schools where the movie was shot, where all of the harassment and intimidation took place the teachers, and the administration from top down did nothing to stop the nightmare of bullying that these kids were experiencing. This is not a movie review; you can get that somewhere else on the net. This is a review of how the problem was handled in the schools where the movie was filmed.

In one of the very first scenes of the movie the assistant principal whose name was Kim was addressing a few kids who just arrived at school that morning. They came to her with a problem that they were having probably on the bus, don’t remember, not sure, doesn’t matter. When she was finished speaking with the students she walked away talking to herself and made a comment that was so telling about schools and society in general. Her comment was “Tell me how to fix this.” I will add one more word myself that wasn’t said; “Quickly.” In other words get me the quick fix.

When I first started out in administration nearly twenty five years ago I did not want one problem brought into my office. Whether it was with a student, a teacher, or a parent, I would at all cost avoid a problem, and a confrontation. A good day? No problems. I knew myself well, or at least I thought I did. If a problem arouse I just wanted it to go away, very similar to the assistant principal in the movie. Soft pedal and just make it through the day. It was not until my second year as an administrator that things started to change. I had a huge confrontation with a parent, and I was balled out, really balled out. I knew it was going to happen, she was one of those parents that you just hated to see coming. My nerves were shot knowing this. Her son was disciplined and in her opinion to harshly. In some way, shape, or form I stuck to my guns and didn’t rescind the consequence. She left in a huff, and I sat back in my chair and asked myself this question; if getting yelled at by a parent is the worse that is going to happen to me today, than what am I afraid of?  I took out a composition book and documented the incident. That composition book became what I called “My Life Notebook,” anytime I had a problem going forward, I documented the problem and the steps I took to solve the problem. There are no quick fixes, none. We all need something that I call equity in life. I have defined this as developing the ability to solve a problem for which we don’t have a reference point. In other words we never did it before, but we need to learn how to do it.

School administrators today are pressured even more than I was. They fear many of the same things I did. Why didn’t I want a problem brought into my office? Because I didn’t know how to solve a problem. I believed that I had to please everyone and we all know that is just impossible.

Well we have a problem now, it’s called bullying. It can’t be fixed, not quickly anyway. In schools where anti bullying programs are in place and enforced consistently we reduce bullying incidents by about 50%. All parents want anti bullying rules to be enforced until it’s there kid who is accused of bullying. Then the discussions start and the fear of the confrontation builds to a point that administrators take the path of least resistance. The assistant principal in the movie was so filled with fear and lacked such professional equity that all she could hope for day to day was that the problem would just go away. It’s not going away. If anything it will get worse if schools and society don’t learn how to handle…….the adults. Yes, the adults. Adults are the mess not the kids. The adults produce these kids, and teachers, and school administrators are all adults. Aren’t they? Help me fix this.




Life Lessons

Some Great Stuff. It Does Make Sense. 

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents

will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16.. Take a deep breath.. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t   save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, and then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.




Bully Proof Assurance

This is an absolutely great article.

The mission of BULLY PROOF ASSURANCE is to extinguish bullying behavior by building a national community committed to shining a bright light on a national and global crisis.  We hope to provide students who become victims with a secure network of support which begins with the opportunity to report incidents of bullying in anonymity.   Too often bullying is not reported or ignored creating circumstances which lead to untold human suffering and significant cost to every taxpayer.

Bullying behavior has accelerated to epidemic proportions.   Upwards to twenty five percent of U.S. students are bullied annually and twenty percent of high school students say they have seriously considered committing suicide within the last twelve months.  Thirty percent of students who reported they had been bullied said they had at times brought a weapon to school.   Nationally, more than 160,000 students stay home from school daily (NEA) due to bullying.  Two thirds of those students involved in school shootings were bullied, and two thirds of victims become bullies.   A bully is five times more likely to have a serious criminal record and six times more likely to be incarcerated by the age of 24.  All of this translates into a serious financial burden on an already overburdened judicial system.

The root cause of bullying and its financial burden is found in the character of American parents.  Bullies are not born, but are created over time when certain behavioral dynamics allow the behavior to evolve.   BULLYPROOF ASSURANCE desires to tap into the best of us and, like Mothers  Against Drunk Drivers, work relentlessly to increase awareness of the problem, create an honest and genuine national conversation which in time will result in better parenting.   We recognize the potential resistance associated with this project.  Politics and political correctness will always be used to avoid responsibility.   But schools which demonstrate high levels of success by many measures,   including standardized test scores, and operate in the worst socio economic conditions show us that children can thrive if parents and the school are on the same page.   Too many American schools and parents are not on the same page and there has been much bad parenting.  Our society needs to take ownership of this issue.  If we improve our parenting, we can reduce bullying, increase respect and responsibility, and keep some money in our pockets.  Join us.

Feelings vs. Emotions

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jim Burns on our blog talk radio show this past Tuesday about the differences between feelings and emotions. For the purpose of our discussion, we defined feelings as the overall demeanor; our disposition. Emotions were defined as the way we feel day-to-day and sometimes minute-to-minute. By understanding the difference, we are able to view bullying in a new light.

Did you ever wake up in the morning, stub your toe as you’re getting out of bed, and say, “Ugh. It’s going to be one of those days…”? Suddenly, you feel out of sorts and frustrated, maybe even angry at your bed or the object that just hurt your toe. Then, for the rest of the day, you feel agitated. Everything gets under your skin, and you just wish you were back in bed. You might have a thought like, “Where am I today? I’m not being myself.” Sure you are. You are absolutely being yourself. This is a dimension of yourself coming out, that perhaps you don’t like. But regardless, it is you. You might as well accept it and learn to love it just as much as the dimension you define as “yourself.” And do you know why? Because this is just one emotion you are experiencing.

Your overall demeanor is hopefully one of a happy, content, joyful person. Maybe it’s not. But the first step to changing, is recognizing the things you are AND the things you are not. The next step is accepting your dimensions. And the third is loving them. It might sound crazy to love yourself when you’re feeling angry, thus making everyone around you miserable. But a huge part of being angry is the resistance that comes with it. What if, on a day when you felt angry, you were to accept it and say, “I don’t feel well today, and I love myself for it.”? What if?

What if you could switch your thoughts? After-all, “what you resist persists.”

You can’t give someone something you don’t have. When I speak at schools nationally through Hey U.G.L.Y. (Unique.Gifted.Lovable.You.-, I sing and talk to the students about feelings vs. emotions. We discuss how our emotions are directly correlated to how we interact with and treat other people throughout the day. You could be an overall happy person having a “bad” day, or you could be an overall nice person who is making other people feel agitated and angry, because you’re having a “bad” day. By choosing to accept these temporary emotions, we build our self-love, thus breaking the cycle and being able to give love to other people!

So accept yourself today. No matter what you are feeling/emoting. Choose acceptance.

Please check out my music and current projects at Follow me on Twitter: @devynrush, and email me at

My debut EP (due to release inMay) is now available for pre-order. Please email me if you are interested in a copy!

A Special Thank-You to my wonderful guitarist and friend, Charlie Rauh, who gave Jim and me so many great ideas for our discussion.

You can listen to this entire show by clicking on the blog talk radio banner on the bottom right.

Mutual Confidence Is The Foundation Of All Satisfactory Human Relationships.

I really enjoy Napoleon Hill. Trust is something  is something we need to teach to our kids if they are going to have successful relationships in their lives. Kids who have been targets of bullying don’t trust anyone, and believe that no one cares about them. Prove them wrong, and help them establish trusting and lasting relationships with others. It will make a difference in their lives going forward. This is Napoleon Hill’s thought for today. It just fits.

Most of us have two basic questions about others when we enter into a relationship. They are: Can I trust you? And, do you really care about me? Depending upon our previous success in partnerships with others — personal or business — the answers may be slow in coming. Confidence in another is often developed gradually as those involved in the relationship commit themselves to each other’s success and happiness. Although trust and confidence are the basic underpinnings of all successful relationships, they are fragile. A relationship that has endured for months or even years can be irreparably damaged by a few unkind words or a single thoughtless act. Don’t allow yourself to act in haste or to lose control of your emotions in important relationships.