Hello Fellow Green Dotters,
In an address regarding the decision to close schools, a county superintendent said, “In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be QUITE apparent if we under reacted or did too little.” These are words that have stuck with me over the past few weeks because it helped me handle how much the world was changing around me. It made me accept wearing a mask to the grocery store, and kept me level headed while cancelling a trip I had been looking forward to for months. “Public safety is of the utmost importance” is a sentence we have been hearing over and over again over the last few months and of course it is true, but what if we were this vocal about public safety in terms of Power Based Personal Violence?
Just like a virus, power based personal violence can impact any person in any region of the world without discrimination. It does not matter what race you are, what sexual orientation you are, or how much money you have, anyone can experience it. And just like a virus, there are things we can do to prevent the spread; we can do green dots! Sometimes it is hard to believe that just one person can make a difference, but there is more power in your actions than you realize.
The quote I mentioned in the beginning is useful in understanding why bystander intervention is so important. It can seem as if going out of your way to drive a friend home from a party to make sure they got home safely was unnecessary, that they probably would have been fine even if you left them there. It may have even seemed like you overreacted. However, if you had not acted it is possible that your friend could have been harmed had you not taken them home when you did. Sometimes you can’t know for sure if violence will occur, so it seems that trying to prevent a red dot from happening was a waste of time. I would take a possible overreaction over doing too little and allowing someone to be harmed any day. When there is a chance for violence to occur, the risk of not intervening has the potential to change someone’s life forever. So remember, even if it doesn’t feel like you are changing the world around you by doing simple green dots, I promise that wondering if you really needed to act is far superior to knowing that you should have.