How to fight bullying? Teach the value of kindness.
What if confronting a societal scourge means focusing on its opposite?
That’s the approach taken by Shadi Pourkashef, a Southern California composer, conductor, and piano teacher who also combats school bullying – which affects 2 in 10 children ages 12 to 18, by one account – with kindness.
“As I learned more about Ms. Pourkashef and her Ability Awareness Project, it became pretty clear that compassion really was what was driving every player in the story,” JJ Wahlberg says on the Monitor’s “Why We Wrote This” podcast. The story was JJ’s first reported piece for the Monitor.
Ms. Pourkashef’s presentations on respectful interaction have generated interest from around her region and from as far away as Thailand. But just offering to provide schools with a blueprint for bullying prevention opened relatively few doors for Ms. Pourkashef, JJ says. Offering to coach kindness? That really did.