(Inspired by this wonderful video that everyone who has ever been bullied or not must watch.
There has been a lot of dialogue recently about bullying. A lot of that dialogue is coming from the mouths of some very beautiful people. They’re people I’m not sure that have ever really been bullied.
At least, the kind of bullying they’re talking about, of course.
Do the beautiful people know what it’s really like?
Do they know what it’s like when you’re called names just because you have something that is only a little different, like wearing glasses?
The names are dumb, but they’re said with such force.
Do they know this force? Do they know how it presses against you?
Do they know how it makes your heart crack?
Let me tell you a story.
There was a boy, who wore glasses, liked science, drawing, and video games, and had some trouble controlling his emotions.
Occasionally, he was punched in the stomach and got a wedgie.
Because he knew things.
And occasionally wept over stupid things.
Because he couldn’t help it.
He cruised along, with these ups and downs, until middle school.
It was when he learned about being popular.
He didn’t know what the word “popular” actually meant.
He thought it meant people knowing who you are.
Until he was told flat out that he wasn’t popular.
Suddenly, the world had changed.
People invited his friends to things, while looking directly at him and saying,
“You’re not invited.”
(The man the boy became, he can’t take invitations seriously, because he believes they invite him out of pity.)
It didn’t matter, in the long run, but try telling this boy that.
A friend turned against him, and decided that he made a good target.
(The man the boy became, he is occasionally afraid his friends will turn on him.)
The boy’s appearance;
(The man the boy became, he will never truly believe that he is not goofy-looking.)
The boy’s knowledge;
(The man the boy became, he apologizes when elaborating too much on a subject dear to him.)
The boy’s likes;
(The man the boy became, he is afraid to tell people that he likes video games because he knows the sound of 29 people turning in their seats to look at him when a commercial advertising a game played on the in-classroom television.)
The boy’s abilities,
(The man the boy became, he knows it is fine to draw things associated with the Mario Bros., but when he was little, and teaching himself how to draw, no matter what he drew, someone would say that everything looked like Mario and make fun of him for it.)
The boy’s name;
(The man the boy became, he hesitates when his last name is used to identify him, because he was the only one ever called by his last name, and people used to twist his name in so many ways.)
They all became weapons.
There were times he simply did not want to go to school.
Because he knew what was waiting for him there.
And he knew he could not handle it.
The teachers said “Ignore it.”
The principal said “You are going to stop this rivalry, or I will stop it for you.”
The boy did say some dumb things, as all boys do.
The boy did some dumb things, as all boys do.
But there was no rivalry.
Only an easy target.
And high school.
High school was more subtle.
Full of cliques.
The boy belonged to none of them.
And is still unsure who his real friends were.
Nobody said things to his face.
But he was left out of most things.
Unless someone needed help with their homework.
We conclude with saying:
The boy is now a man.
But the man never forgot what it was like to be a boy.
And because he never forgot,
It tempers everything that he does.