Three Lessons Learned from the Bully

From a Child’s Perspective

The Bully exists everywhere and most times. It is important to know who the bullies are and to know that with each exposure you will learn. Why they do what they do is far too complicated a question for me to answer. The best thing I have learned is that I know I would never want to be a bully because of the turmoil they cause.

Let me start in my first grade in the playground. The whole first grade class of boys ended up in the principal’s office because of one. Was the worst bully the kid who was the bully, or the principal that did not single out the misled child? Maybe it was the bully’s Dad or brother or next door neighbor who taught him the way to be.

Suffice it to say that that first grade experience began my fear of principals, playground bullies, and my realization that it is possible to be accused of someone else’s behavior. I was confused and I had very much to learn.

I moved on a grade and encountered a kid who decided he had it in for me. The learning continued. He proceeded to convince me and others that I was not as good as anyone in the class. True, I didn’t know how to defend myself and the adults tell me that is why I was bullied. So someone else’s behavior ended up to be my responsibility. With help, courage, and hard work, I took the challenge and the advice and came back to life with my sleeves rolled up ready to move on. I would like to think he other boy’s perceptions of my reality blew up in his face when he fell to a class below me and I advanced academically. He couldn’t call me lesser anymore, and I couldn’t see myself as lesser anymore. With this encounter I began to sense the meaning of justice, but more important I now knew my mind was my own and no person could influence my thoughts and feelings. It was the first lesson I learned.

I realized I was a happy I met that boy, I learned a lot about myself. In the next years, other new bullies appeared presenting similar scenarios. They did their best to exclude me and others from everything. They are the type who take the clothes from a kid in gym class and get them wet in the shower so he has nothing to wear to class. The rest of us have to act like it is funny so they don’t pick on us next. I try to have an advantage by keeping a firm grip on the way I feel about how I want to treat others and how I will react. I prefer to help someone rather than spoil their day. That is the second thing I learned.

The adults say people do things to make them feel good about themselves. It seems to work for them; they don’t seem to feel bad about much at all. Or is it that they just don’t feel? Thankfully, I don’t like the feeling when I have hurt someone, and I do have feelings. That was the third thing I learned.