- Posted April 29, 2014 by
New Washington, Indiana
Making a Difference: Stand Up to Bullying
My whole life I have grown up with a lot of boys around me. I have a great deal of brothers. You think that would be a good thing, right? I have four brothers at home and a little sister. The story of my life begins here.
I was 10 years old. I could remember walking around the playground and singing at the top of my lungs with a girl, in my grade, I will not mention her name. When I was in fourth grade I had amazing friends, but they were considered "nerds" and I wanted to get away from that so that I didn't have a label on me. Later on I became friends with a popular kid. That girl would walk me around the playground and tell me how wonderful of a singer that I was. She kept encouraging me to sing so that everyone could hear me.
I would stroll around the playground and the concrete basketball court singing at the top of my lungs. It sounds like the perfect little life doesn't it? Well, that was when I had my first dose of reality. I eventually found out that my "friend" was walking me around the playground and making me sing so that her other "popular' friends could make fun of me. That's when I realized that my only true friends were the ones I left, so that I could hang with the popular kids. I promised my self that I would never sing in public again. I would never open my mouth in front of someone so that they could pick on me. I didn't want to be a victim of bullying anymore.
I am a Junior now, and I get to watch my sister and brothers grow up right along side me. Sometimes I realize that the same fate that awaited me is what is awaiting them. I would hear them come home and tell me a story of how someone would be mean to them on the bus, or in the hallways. That kind of thing broke my heart. I would tell them that they needed to stand up for themselves, but they are more of the quiet kids that hide in the shadows.
Then the realization hit me. I can not expect them to stand up for themselves if I am to scared to stand up for myself. I sing around the house all the time of course, but now I started singing out in public again. I would even sing in DRAMA club. I didn't care anymore about what people thought about me.
Why did this change? I started not to care about what people thought about me because I realized that a label can never hurt you. We label people and things everyday. We label that rotten banana as bad, and that ripe apple as good.
I have never felt more alive them when I am standing on the stage in DRAMA club, or in choir and singing or acting in front of an audience. I have wonderful friends now. We go shopping on weekends, and go too see just about every good movie that comes out in theaters. They give me confidence.
I have become the change that I would like to see in my brothers and sister. My words of wisdom to anyone who has ever been bullied is that you are not alone. Bullying and labels have been around since the beginning of time. A label doesn't confine someone. There is no reason to hold it inside you. Find friends that will have your back through the storms, even if they may be labeled as "uncool", or "nerds." What makes the person is not the label that the world gives them, but how they are able to label themselves when they look in the mirror. Tell me: What have you been labeled as?