Posted by upwithmarc
When I was in 5th grade I can remember being out at recess and fighting with my friend to not have to stand behind this girl in the line to go back inside. We did not want to stand by her just because we thought she was ugly. What senselessness we thought it was now that we are grown up, but at that age I did not know what empathy was. We could have very well destroyed that girl’s life. She still comes up in conversation in the recent years and we always say that she is probably a super model and we were just naive kids afraid of cooties.
That’s not when I learned my lesson though. In Junior High I was hit hard with what some call Karma. I was hanging out at recess once again but this time it was with the group of bullies that picked on the same kids every day. One day it got physical, I pushed a boy to the ground and actually hurt him. It was that moment that I immediately hated myself and helped him right back up. I did not courage up an apology right away but I sorrowed tons of regret before I turned things around and became friends with this same person. After this terrible act of bullying the stars were not aligned for me. It was like being lost on a cloudy moonless night with no way to guide me home. This was the year of my first heavy crush and also the year of my fall into a bad depression. I lost every friend I had, except for one, including my crush. High School was terrible. Most people want to go back….not me. I learned of a learning disability I had with very low reading levels. I used up most of my lunch hours in a reading class, and the lunches I did attend I was forced to sit with kids of a lower grade because I was now the dork.
You are probably wondering where the karma comes in? In High School I was the one being bullied. I was made fun of all the time, I was pushed around, I was excluded from things and picked last for activities. Oh Marc you need braces, as if it could get any worse. This did however start to turn around for me. I grow up with a strong family and a small hand full of great friends that I had at this point. I started to stand up for myself against bullies and I was winning. I started to show respect for those that are typically excluded and ignored.
In college I began to come alive! I learned how to manage my depression without medication and my shyness lifted. I started dating and gaining friends galore. I became friends with anyone and everyone. I was proud that all my friends were friends with each other too. Everyone I brought into my circle they became friends with everyone else. The cool thing that holds true still today is my friends are friends with my siblings and we are all friends with their friends as well. There were no exclusions, we hung out and we partied with whoever wanted to join.
You see I have turned myself around quite a bit, but I am not done. Bullying has gotten worse as the years go by and the internet has gotten more and more accessible to our younger generation to give ease to those with bad intentions. I have a soft spot for those that are picked on for any reason. Working in an elementary school has really shined light on my purpose of inspiring children to be more positive with their lives. I work with special needs children and I have the opportunity to talk to the other students telling them that we are all different and that’s okay but so much of us is exactly the same. I have had the opportunity to make some of these students realize what they are doing or saying to others is wrong. The great part is…it’s working! I can see it working. Has life shown me both sides of bullying to better help and empathize for those involved? Is my life culminating to a point where I can educate students to a more positive life for themselves and their peers? This same positive lifestyle education holds true to all those who will listen of any age. I want to stand up between the two side where bullying starts and tell our younger generation that there are grand reasons to stop bullying and there is a personality inside all of us with the strength to stand up, ignore, change and fight bullying.
Many people have asked what my purpose is. Well if you have read this far now you know. When you see me with a positive attitude that’s real emotions. When you see me not smiling I am stepping through the next struggle in my life and climbing closer to my goals and purpose for smiling again. I will never bully again and I will always help others at all times. You can change your own life with a simple smile you can change everyone else with a simple smiling hello as you pass through each others lives for any length of time.
Bullying has to stop and a more positive mind set has to begin.
(Here is a new video clip that inspired this post, right from my home town of St. Charles)