A while back, I scribbled about a little girl and how she was misguided to believe a certain not-so-lady-like behaviour was acceptable by the positive reaction she received from the adults around her. She seemed to love the attention we gave her, and although it was wrong for us to reinforce her behaviour, it was harmless and we figured she would eventually grow out of it as she matured… so we let loose this cute little attention seeker.
But some attention seeking behaviours are not as cute or harmless.
Maybe they are hostile and violent.
Maybe they are extreme and without good reason.
Maybe they are incomprehensible and unpredictable.
And maybe they escalate or increase in variety while we stand still in confusion.
Maybe over time, we become so caught up in reacting to the behaviours themselves, we forget that they were being done to seek our attention.
And maybe in time, we become too obsessed in controlling the behaviours here and now, we ignore to solve the underlying issues as they arise here and there.
Then maybe no matter how much time passes, the behaviours will continue over and over, like a sea of endless waves.
I do not believe things have to be this way. Yes, we must be firm in showing that some attention seeking behaviours are absolutely unacceptable. But we must also show that there are much healthier ways to gain our attention, which will be rewarded with positive interaction and support where needed. If the goal of attention is to be treated as a mature member of the society, we must make it clear that acting out is certainly not the way to go, as it is seen as an immature behaviour in any part of the world.
Maybe it will not be easy to change maladaptive behaviours.
And maybe it will require a lot of patience to keep our cool until they come to an end.
But maybe there is no better way to turn the tide.
In my culture, an endless sea of waves is said to represent our wish for a tranquil world in which many many peaceful occasions come to us endlessly on calm waves. I pray that we will be able to ride out the rough raging waves to reach the peaceful and quiet sea beyond.
J’espère que ces vagues calmes apporteront un repos paisible à vous ce soir, Nice.