If You Are Not Part of the Solution, You Are Part of the Problem.

“If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.”

Eldridge Cleaver

For any problems we are trying to solve, we tend to label the offenders as part of the problem while labeling ourselves as part of the solution. But what about everyone else? In most situations, the bystanders and the people who do nothing are probably the biggest obstacles we will ever face when trying to solve our problem.

If you are a teacher trying to stop bullying, you are definitely part of the solution because you actively advocate against it and you can stop it when you see it happen. The bullies are obviously part of the problem, they bully other students and cause them harm. What normally happens is that the bullies bully their victims in some secluded area where you’re not there, so you can’t stop it. But sometimes, a few random students happen to walk by and witness it, and chances are, they’re just bystanders and won’t do anything.

So here’s the question. Those random students are not part of the solution since they’re not doing anything, but are they part of the problem?

If everyone who witnessed bullying stayed silent and did nothing, the risk of bullies getting caught will go down significantly. And since they don’t feel the consequences of their actions, it would just encourage them to bully more. Feel free to replace bullies with shoplifters, racists, people who practice open burning, or anything you like. So if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem, even if you think you aren’t.

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