Today is Sunday. Recently, I looked into the eyes of a truly beautiful young woman. I have to admit, I was a little envious because I have never looked so lovely in my whole existence as this teen.
You would think she is probably one of the most popular girls at school. I remember when I was in school, I was fairly shy, definitely awkward around guys and I focused on being smart because I was not one of the “beautiful people.” I was bullied in school and I was beat up a few times. Bullying is not new. It’s been going on for a long time.
What I discovered today is that you can’t know what’s happening in young people’s lives until you spend some time listening to them.
I was forewarned that I would be meeting a young person who had been bullied and had attempted to end her life because of it. That made me cry inside. I waited to meet her and fashioned in my mind that she was probably a bit overweight and not necessarily attractive.
The young woman with the incredible eyes, beautiful face and gorgeous figure blew that picture from my brain. I was incredulous. I was stupid. I was angry. She was sweet, respectful and smiled easily when I complimented her. I learned very quickly not to jump to assumptions which I really try hard not to do.
How do you give someone your own courage? Sure, I used to go home and cry many nights after school. Sure, I was the butt of jokes and nasty whispers. Sure, others put gum in my hair and tacks on my chair. I wasn’t ever going to let them get the best of me, though.
I am who I am because of it. I think that’s why I have a big heart for the underdogs in this world. I want to make it all go away for her, but I can’t. She needs to know that she is beautiful and loved. She needs to know that there will always be bullies in this world but she can stand up to them. She needs to know that the world will be so much sadder and badder without her.
Short of going and taking a baseball bat to some of those bullies (I am not violent), I will do what I can to help her get through this.
My son was bullied once in his life and it happened to be in prison. He just punched the dude in the face. For weeks he felt really bad and ironically, the dude became a good friend. He has never had to take that kind of action again.
Take time to listen. Young people out there have some serious struggles. We see how unkind this world is, but we can be the life preservers for some people.
peace my friends…every day can be a challenge, eh?