Bullying has become a silent norm in our society. So much so, that the bullied nor the witnesses are speaking out. Someone must stand up and fight this growing epidemic. No one should have to put up with any form of bullying. God created all individuals with a sense of uniqueness and we adopt this uniqueness in order to adapt and grow in this diverse world. In 1972, I found myself, a junior in high school, looked down upon and bullied by other students that held a dislike for me because of the area that I lived in, the clothes I wore, and the status that I held at the school that I attended. Being a key player on the high school baseball team, as well as highly respected student by some of my peers and teachers; this only added to the sense of dislike the others had for me that were not fortunate as I was because I had chosen to adopt a fair and honest lifestyle. These bullies did not involve themselves in the athletic programs; they were not focused on their academics or their future plans; and they did not live in the same part of town that I lived in.
I vividly recall the day that these external, judgmental factors came to a head. One school day during the changing of classes, there were a group of guys that approached me out of nowhere and jumped me. I have never been this afraid in my life. However, from that day forward, I took a stand for my safety. I altered my class schedule so that I would only have to attend for a half-day schedule, with classes until 11 AM, followed by a co-op work program.
The bullies (not “my” bullies) altered my life to a point that I had to rearrange my normal routine for my safety in school. I did not want to go to lunchroom. I did not want to go to PE. I started to change my surroundings and my behavior out of FEAR.
That is not fair!
Bullying is the act of intimidating another person and making him/her feel weaker or inferior so that the bully can manipulate them. It is amazing that even in institutions of learning, bullying takes place in various forms and it can and will endorse an enduring negative impact on children and even lasting impacts into adulthood. Psychological turmoil can haunt you for years and leads to depression, anxiety, and fear. However, “FEAR NOT, BE WEIRD.”
It is not that you are a strange person; instead, you are adopting your God-given talent of being unique. Don't let anyone convince you that you're not a unique person. Realize, there are some things that you cannot change, such as your outer appearance, but your beauty resides in your inner man. So, accept and enjoy your inner being and be the peculiar person that God has made with grace.
Edward MTN Universal