Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

You need to give, not take

As a parent, I always looked for activities where my children can achieve at levels way beyond their imagination. There is no greater feeling than seeing your child’s team win, your child receiving the best player award or being selected to represent at a regional, state or national level. We have become such a competitive nation that we forget that it is better to have a champion team than a team of champions. I feel children these days have lost the ability to have empathy, patience and understanding. Children need to be educated about the rewards of helping another person, rather than thinking the goal of life is to always win.

‘Everyone has unlimited potential; you just need the right person to bring it out for the world to see.’MASTER PAUL MITCHELL

Bully befriends bullied

I received a call from a school principal in Wollongong, New South Wales asking if I had the time to help with a problem of bullying in her school. Challenge accepted. The principal gave me a class of 20 students that I was to train once a week for five weeks. Included in the class was the child that was being bullied and the bully. To start the class, I partnered the students with each other, and my first pair was the bully and the bullied. The principal asked me, ‘How did you know that these two students were the ones I wanted you to help?’ I answered, ‘Well, that boy looks like he owns the world, and the other boy looks like his world is over, so I just put the worlds together.’

After a quick warm-up, I brought out the shields for the children to kick. It took only one kick for the bully to knock his partner to the ground. I ran over and said to the bully, ‘I will make a deal with you. I will hold the shield for you, and you can kick it as hard as you like, but can you make this boy feel confident?’ He said, ‘I can do that.’ I said, ‘Can you make this boy feel good about himself?’ He said, ‘I can do that.’ Finally, I raised my voice intentionally and said, ‘Can you help this boy enjoy coming to school?’ He answered in a loud voice, ‘I CAN DO THAT.’

My theory of engagement came from Karate Kid, where Daniel was left to train for the tournament and his competition (bullies) were told to leave him alone. I felt that for the bully to help his target feel good about himself, he would have to stop bullying the other student and start helping, supporting and including him. That is exactly what happened.

For the next five weeks, the bully got to know the other student and, unbelievably, they became good friends. The problem I see is that children are not nice to each other because they don’t know the real person inside. They see vulnerable, isolated and distinctive-looking students as a target to put down, which falsely and temporarily raises themselves up.

To continue the story, at the end of five weeks we organised for the group of 20 students to demonstrate their new skills in front of the whole school and a large group of parent onlookers. The last thing I did was to get this talented bully to fly over six shields on the ground and break a wooden board. He was successful on his first attempt, and everyone gave him an incredible round of applause. When all the commotion had subsided, I leant towards the boy, who was smiling from ear to ear, and asked him a simple question: ‘What does it take to become number one?’ He smiled and answered, ‘You need to give, not take.’ I looked at him and said, ‘You’re now number one.’

I hope the ideas in this article will inspire you to help your children challenge themselves, learn something new, become confident in their chosen field, see greatness within others and share their knowledge and experience for the purpose of nurturing another person’s true potential. I believe there is greatness inside everyone: you just need the right person to help you find it and support you on your way to achieving your dreams. By your child sharing their gifts they may find that others are left with all the medals, certificates and awards, but I guarantee you that the personal rewards for helping someone else achieve their dreams are enduring and priceless in comparison.

If you would like to read more inspirational moments or learn from some of the best world leaders, please visit my website and sign up for 30 days of wisdom and advice.

‘Imagine if every child learned the respect, courtesy and discipline martial arts teaches. The world would be a very different place.’CHRIS WHAMOND

Master Paul Mitchell is an inspirational leader who founded United Taekwondo with the purpose of Building People Not Fighters. ™ Currently, Master Paul oversees 37 centres with over 1500 members and with school programs his organisation teaches over 2,000 students every week.

Over the years Master Paul has been nominated for many awards including Australian of the Year 2006 and 2018, Pride of Australia Medal 2009 and Citizen of the Year Campbelltown 2009. United Taekwondo has been selected several times as best fitness business at local business awards and at the National Business Awards won both Best Education Service 2010 and Best Fitness Business 2018. In the martial arts arena Master Paul represented New South Wales at a national level and received two second, third and fourth placings over four years. He has helped other students compete, with one individual achieving seven National Titles.

His passion and purpose in life are to educate his students to understand that true happiness comes from sharing your knowledge and experience and helping someone else achieve more than they could imagine.