In Support of Keaton Jones

Kids Talk to Us About BullyingThe video posted here epitomizes the kinds of experiences many of us saw in elementary school. Now, it is of epidemic proportions in our society and it is for this reason that the work of Operation Respect is, we believe, more meaningful and important than ever before.

Our hearts are breaking for this young boy, Keaton Jones, and we at Operation Respect will be sending Keaton our messages of support and compassion. As terribly painful as this video is to watch, it’s critically important to note that it has elicited a torrent of supportive responses.

The good hearts of Americans, and others from around the world, who have weighed in with their love and concern is cause for us to be grateful.

We can strongly hold hope in our hearts that the societal forces that are producing a mountain of bullying, humiliation and mean-spiritedness amongst our children, can and will be addressed and that, over time, such behavior and hateful attitudes will diminish and the current wave of bullying in both the adult world and the world of children will pass.

Here is a song recently written by our co-founder, Peter Yarrow, that bears on these events.

THE CHILDREN ARE LISTENING

By Peter Yarrow

CHORUS:

The children are listening, The children are listening
If we say something cruel and harsh, they will do the same
The children are listening, The children are listening
If they grow up to be bullies, we’ll be the ones to blame

Verse 1:

Miracles can happen even on the darkest days
When we fear that all is lost and that hope has gone astray
Sometimes we drop our weapons when the price we pay’s too great
When the damage to the ones we love, is greater than our hate
Well it’s time to come together, across the dividing lines
For our children who are suffering from the pain in these, our times
It’s not just ridicule and taunts or bullying by their peers
Grownups’ rage and hate-filled words are ringing in their ears

CHORUS

Verse 2:

Bigotry and hatred still hang heavy in the air
They poison children’s hearts and minds and leave them in despair
But if we defeat these demons that have kept us so apart
Love and true forgiveness might begin to heal our hearts
The healing won’t be easy, the pain we’ve caused runs deep
The injury that we have sewn, we fear one day we’ll reap
But if we plant the seeds of peace, and with one voice at last
Join our hearts in peace and love, this painful time will pass

CHORUS

Verse 3:

There’s no doubt that increasingly, the world has grown unfair
And for some, just plain survival takes more than we can bear
But when we attack each other we play the enemy’s game
And fail to see that the cross the line our suffering’s much the same
We can defeat the enemy, if we recognize its face
Let the hatred that divides us, finally be erased
Let’s finally stand together, with our voices loud and clear
And let our song of healing, be the one our children hear

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