The frustrated individual sitting across from me was fuming by 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.
To be honest, I was recalling a particular person in my life that in truth is–a bully. During a recent gathering, I was a bit forward and held my ground when this particular person came at me in front of a room of people. In my opinion, I think they were surprised by my firm response. 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!
Shortly after that incident, I 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. And, a bit from Proverbs too.