Like a lot of children, I was bullied as a kid. Fortunately, it was really only one kid and it was for a relatively short period of time during 7th grade, then he set his sights on some other hapless victim and I proceeded along with my own childhood. Still, I can vividly remember school finishing up and me dashing to my bicycle and pedaling furiously home to get back to the safety of my house and neighborhood before he could find me and harass me.
Unlike in the movies, there was never any imminent threat of death or dismemberment, but it was certainly upsetting, and I can remember being dizzy by the time I made it home, because I really got there at record speed. My parents were somewhat aware of what was going on and their approach was to enroll me in a karate class, something to build my self-confidence.
It helped. I’m hardly some ninja warrior now, but it gave me a boost in self-confidence at a moment when I really, really needed it.
Bullying is probably somewhat inevitable, unfortunately, and I’ve had brushes with other people who believe might – or anger, or fury, or a greater desire to manipulate – makes right, but none of the incidents ever matched that middle school period, and thank goodness.
I don’t think we can completely eliminate bullying from the childhood experience, but what would have made a world of difference to me would have been if some other children would have stepped up and gotten involved, said “Hey, man, lay off him!” or even pulled a teacher into the mix.
That’s why when I was invited to participate in the Put An End to Bullying campaign, I assented. We can’t create a utopia, but a world where we all do our best to help out the bullied and offer calm course corrections for the bully? That sounds like a great step forward and maybe, just maybe, we’d have less of these tragic school shootings and other terrible modern occurrences that all too often stem from someone who was a victim of bullying for months or even years.
That’s why I ask you to get involved and Take a Stand. Just a few clicks:
Disclosure: This article and discussion is financially supported by TakePart.