On Having Avoided Bullying

Video

If you haven’t seen this powerful spoken word video, watch, it’s so well done.

I’m in the rare position of never really having been bullied, nor having been a bully, either.  I credit this to going to a small private school through junior high and for being a bit of a loner.  And a loner who was pretty and smart and, without meaning to be, a little intimidating.  I’m also blessed to have grown up in a family that didn’t send me out into the world seething with rage just waiting to land on someone weaker.  Despite never quite feeling that I fit in, and certainly never being one of the popular crowd, I guess I was “normal” enough to avoid being picked on.

I wonder how common my experience was, to have seemingly skated through without receiving or inflicting this kind of damage.  Did I turn a blind eye to others getting picked on?  Surely, and that really grieves me.  Now bullying is something that fills me with a hot, righteous anger.  I can’t remember specific instances, though; I think I just kept to myself and my little band of nerdy-cool friends and was naively unaware.

I constantly forget how much bullying has shaped so many people, how much they are still fighting those perceptions, how much they are still trying to prove themselves.  Though I was not bullied, I’m very well acquainted with feelings of rejection, unworthiness, and being different.  I think it’s part of growing up to accept who you really are, no matter how much you were singled out for your differences.  We all need to remember that most of the time the things that make us different are the very same things that make us amazing.

So to all of us, myself included, I say “You are enough.  Just be you.”

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