The frustrated individual was bemoaning the erratic behavior of a caller that had just left them a message. “Ok, what do you do with a bully?” I asked. Hoping to calm them a bit and help them regain their composure if not perspective.
“Punch them in the nose,” came the knowing yet exhausted response. He had it right.
A few moments after American Navy Seals took out three Somali pirates, thus ending a 5-day hostage nightmare for the Captain of the Alabama Maersk, I held my breath. I knew it would be just a matter of days, if not hours, before the critics started to complain.
Sure enough, Al Sharpton got on the air and talked about those three, African teen-agers that were merely doing their job, guarding the coast of Somalia. Coast Guards? Uh, really? Just doing their duty by jumping aboard an unarmed merchant ship, taking a hostage and holding an AK-47 to his back? For five days? And asking for millions of dollars? Hmmmmm….I don’t think so.
It got me to thinking about a particular person in my life that is just simply put, a bully. During a recent gathering, I was a bit forward and held my ground when that particular person came at me in front of a room of people. In my opinion, I think they were surprised. And I hope I sent a clear message. One that said: You don’t need to be rude and you need to check your facts before you bite!
Interestingly, I then came across a story that I found in a newsletter
It went something like this.
Back in the 1970s, crime had gotten so out of hand in New York City, that people actually began posting “No Radio” signs in their cars to ward off vandals. Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his Commissioner William Bratton finally declared that they had had enough. And when they came across the “Broken Windows” theory, they knew they’d found their plan of action.
The Broken Windows theory simply states that if a building has a broken window that is not fixed, the message is sent that no one cares. Vandals believe there will be no consequences for their bad behavior, and, worse behavior follows.
However, once the broken window is fixed, it sends a clear message that someone cares about their community and that people are watching, which deters crime.
Acting on the Broken Windows theory, Giuliani and Bratton transformed New York from one of the most dangerous cities in America to the safest big city in the country. How? Simpy by treating minor crimes like vandalism, prostitution, and loitering like broken windows.
They deployed police to where they were most needed and, instead of tolerating these crimes and showing weakness to criminals the police showed strength. They instituted a “zero tolerance” policy for so-called minor crimes.
As criminals saw what was going on, crime slowed to an almost frozen pace. Citizens and tourists felt safer walking the streets and taking the subway and they took more responsibility for their neighborhoods and helped make them safer in return.
By restoring order to the streets police didn’t have to spend all their time responding to crime. Their show of strength inspired citizens to take care of their own communities which deterred criminals from committing crimes in the first place.
So, the moral of the story is. Sit back and the weeds will grow and the vandals will come. Stand up, take action and keep order, and your part of the world can become a much better and safer place.
Just my thoughts,