growinghumans


We are going to talk about a hard thing today.
August 4, 2014, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My dear, Tiny human.
I have been trying to find a way to talk about bullying for quite some time but everything I seem to say about it seems cliche; forced.

Yesterday I learned that a friend I had while growing up passed away. I do not think he passed in a very dignified manner and people will say what they will, but I am not here to talk about how this boy–this man, died.

I am hear to talk about how he was kind to me.
When I was younger, not too young but in the harsh youth that happens when one hits middle school and puberty, I was bullied.
I was bullied because I was different and shy and maybe a bit clever. I wore bright colors and baggy pants and wore beanie babies on my head. The girls that all dressed the same and smelled the same started rumors about me; they isolated me from happiness at the time when I needed it the most. I was very alone.
I entered high school feeling the same way.
But this boy, this popular, football playing boy, was always kind to me. I remember him always asking how I was; was I ok? Was anyone bothering me?
His kindness set him apart from the other “popular” kids at school and I was amazed at it. I am sure he was kind to everyone in this same manner. I am sure it wasn’t just me, but at the time it felt like just me and that was enough to build up my self confidence. When a popular boy is nice to you, you will feel special. It isn’t the correct way things should be, but it is how things are.
I saw this boy, years later after graduation. He was still kind.

I suppose what I am saying, Tiny Human, is that in life you may be bullied. It will feel like you are drowning. You will not only feel alone, but something far worse–you will feel like everyone is talking about you all of the time. You will feel like there is something fatally wrong with you.
Bullies cast out darkness in this manner. They are full of unhappiness and hatred and want to see weak people suffer. Walk away from them.
Find the people that give off light.
Follow those kind people that make you feel bigger than you really are. Stand next to THEM.

Or better yet, become one of those people.

Because it is the gentle, subtle kindness that will pull you through the darkness and the least you can do is turn around and extend your hand to whoever is following you.

The world leads us to believe that to get through dark times, we must garner inner strength. We must find something deep within ourselves and get through the hard times.

No one is able to get through bullying alone. I will say this with sincere honesty. I was tormented and the only way I survived was through the surprising and unnecessary kindness of people like my friend who is no longer on this earth.

I will always remember this young man as someone who was kind when everyone was cruel, and that is the perhaps the best legacy to leave this world with.

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