I’m writing this on the 20th as I just read about another youngster committing suicide.
This has got to stop.
This young child was twelve.
A young girl with her entire life ahead of her was being bullied.
I know a lot about being bullied. I was bullied in high school. We didn’t call it that then. We called it what it is: My high school days were hell. To this day, I hate going back in that school…and I have to as my grandchildren will attend there.
Bullying is another word for square pegs. We, the square pegs of society didn’t fit in. If only I could grab these kids that are being bullied and tell them that THEY are the winners. They are the ones who won’t follow the crowd. Who won’t be ‘cool’. Who won’t cave into the ‘Everyone else is doing it’, or ‘Everyone else is thin,’ or ‘Everyone else gets better grades, or is dating, or is pretty, or is having sex, or has things come easily, or are better at sports, have more ‘bulk’, have grown taller, etc.’
I wish I could do that but I can’t. Not to my grandkids or yours. Not because I don’t want to but because during puberty you don’t always listen to adults…especially when they mouth platitudes like: “You’ll get through it,” or “Sticks and stones,” or “Just tell somebody.”
You won’t tell somebody because that admits what you are already feeling: INADEQUATE.
So how do you survive? What can you do? What can parents do?
For one thing, GET YOUR CHILD OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. PERIOD. Yes, I know that kids have to use computers. Heck, teachers don’t so much teach as give assignments and check work online. Parents can loot at their child’s grades online. FINE. But no child needs Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, etc.
We are, and have been, robbing our children on their innocence. They don’t need to watch CNN…nor should they. You don’t need to see an atrocity happening in real time. It’s bad enough reading about it fifty years later.
Some say, “Keep the kids busy.” Sure, that helps..but all the love and the business only goes so far. There are still hours of the day when these children are put in the position of a black lamb among white sheep; a smaller chicken in a flock. They will be shunned and pecked simply because of being different than the others.
You can do a few things, however. First, praise them for who they are: beautiful creatures created like NO ONE ELSE. God made them who they are for a purpose and a reason. Who are we to question Him? Who are ‘they’ to question Him?
Second, talk to them. Search out books that show real people who achieved much by being different; by taking a path unlike others; by seeking a purpose and a joy that gives them the passion to ignore the bigots and bullies.
Thirdly, allow them to talk and show them that surviving is the greatest ‘pay back’ you can give to a bully. Show them what it will be like when they come back a success. I learned early not to pray for vengeance. My prayer became: GOD, HELP ME TO LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE WHAT GOES AROUND COME BACK AROUND.
I have been in that position where I was wronged…and eventually, I watched as that person was paid back. God handled it. I must admit to satisfaction upon seeing HOW He did it. To be honest, I actually pitied my enemy. The lesson they had to learn was hard.
Lastly, read the verse below–whether Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, athiest, agnostic, purple-people-eater, whatever. In this matter, it is advice that is worthy of study. In our effort to become so politically correct and not offend, we are losing the ability to provide an ethical and moral grounding to our young people.
Romans 12:14-21-Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Understand what Paul is saying here: You put coals on the head of your enemies by doing good to them and for them. Overcoming evil like bullies begins with not only liking yourself but them.
Maybe you can’t stand them in person but you can find it within yourself to pity them. To wonder what has gone so wrong in THEIR life that they work to try to make yours a horror. Then take whatever bring you joy and peace in your young life and infuse yourself with that passion and be strong. Find a mentor: in your school, your church, your family, your friends and let them know you feel inadequate. I’m betting money you will learn that they see things in YOU that have overlooked.
Sometimes the race is to the swift. Sometimes it is to the strong. MOSTLY, HOWEVER, PEOPLE OVERLOOK THAT THE RACE ITSELF IS THE JOURNEY.
You are like no one else. You have value…so much value that God created you from His love. Satan saw to it that we have selfish sins like PRIDE which evolves some into bullies. God, however, saw to it that we could overcome such evil through His love for us in sending His Son.
When I was young, I would have given anything to be a round peg. I am so THANKFUL that I fought through. I wouldn’t change being a square peg for anything now!