Real Life

I wish to spark real conversations about life, love, lust, and anything in between

Bullying is and will always be an issue-as long as kids are growing and learning anyway. Every person will experience this at some point in their life whether it’s as a child in school or as an adult online.

But when I hear that someone is bullying my kid I go into beast mode (I have to calm myself down and remind myself that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger). This is a natural reaction whenever a parent feels like their child is in danger-we want to protect them. But can this be taken too far? Of course it can-just like anything else!

Too many parents want to be there to catch their children when they’re falling but if we did this they would never learn how to do things for themselves. If you were there to prevent every little disaster what will your child do when you’re not around?

I’m not saying that “How To Bully 101” should be an elementary elective but we can’t remove everything that’s dangerous from our kids lives. Even if we could accomplish this there will always be another hazard. Instead of removing our kids from the situation we should teach our kids how to handle it.

I was bullied twice in my life and both were in elementary school.

The first was in 1st grade. I lived in the Bronx with my mother and sister. I went to a public school known as CS67. There was this kid that would “invite” me out to the yard where he would beat me up every day after school. Apparently his dad taught him to box and he’d practice on me. Not sure why I never declined. I can remember trying to talk him out of it once but that didn’t work.

I’m not sure how this ended or what ever became of this kid. I’d love to tell you that later that year with all my training I demanded a rematch and was victorious-but that would be a lie. He probably became a professional fighter-glad I could help.

The second time was in 5th grade. We had just moved from Brooklyn to Long Island. I went to Chippewa elementary. There was this kid named Anthony McCrory. He wasn’t a bad kid he just liked to make fun of me. Mostly because of my reaction. I would do what most kids do. My face would get red, I’d get angry and sometimes it would escalate to the point where I’d cry out of frustration.

Whenever Anthony would go into an episode of name calling all I could think about was how I wouldn’t see him in 6th grade because I was moving-I couldn’t wait.

I saw him in a convenience store once (first time outside of school) and at first he seemed like a different Anthony-not the bully that I knew him to be. But then after a moment of small talk Anthony the bully returned.

This went on for the entire school year. Some days were better than others. It never really got physical. Then one day towards the end of the year-the weather was warm-it was that time of the year when we would play outdoor games and have one legged races-we called it field day. Anthony began another installment of bashing my name and I couldn’t take it anymore-my face got red-I lost my peripheral vision and could see only him. I began a chase that lasted for what seemed like an hour but was only a minute or two. I ran like a cheetah zigging when he turned left and zagging when he turned right! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Anthony!

I didn’t catch him. But I felt like I scared the crap out of him. There wasn’t enough of the school year left to find out if my chase made a difference. If I had done that at the beginning of the year I’m sure my 5th grade life would have been much better.

After the chase I felt a little more confident in myself. I also noticed that 2 girls I’d liked were looking at me!

I saw Anthony about 10 years later. A very strange coincidence. It was sunset. I was at the park with my girlfriend. It was almost dark. I could see a guy approaching the park from a distance and my gut told me it was him. All those feelings and emotions came rushing back causing me to panic a little. Then I reminded myself of the chase and prepared for a confrontation that I expected to end in fists. He got within talking distance and asked if I was Nelson. I answered, “yes”. He said, “I’m sorry” and disappeared into the darkness as mysteriously as he appeared. Never saw Anthony McCrory again. Good people make bad decisions-he is a good person.

Whether it’s a bully taking advantage of every opportunity to make your life miserable or a boss at work increasing your workload because he/she knows you can’t say no-having to deal with either or both will only prepare you for tougher obstacles ahead. Trying to remove everything that is tough or uncomfortable from our lives will surely set us up for failure.

I’ll leave you with a great video by Brooks Gidds about How to handle a bully

Thanks for taking the time to read.

If you’ve enjoyed this story or you have a friend that may benefit from it please feel free to share. Thanks again!

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5 thoughts on “To Bully Or Not To Bully

  1. 1953ginger says:

    Hello Nelson,I’m pleased to see you convers on Bullying.I can relate,I was pushed around simply because I was from a different state ,WV moved to NY and the bullying began. I couldn’t allow it to go on too long, At thirteen I decided to stand up for myself,and I ended up standing up for my two younger brothers for ,well our whole teenage years ! And even do now as nessasary! In my neighborhood you either got tough,and fought back or you got walked on.I am sad to say I did a little walking on myself,until I had my children.Having my children saved my life,(I was on a bad road,till I got married and started a family,I was able to move to a more peaceful neighborhood,away from the violence and drugs that was coming ,only to end up back in the same neighborhood I ran away from when I was 18 ,at 25 there I was I could not believe it! A woman I grew up with had a son older than my son,that was a bully ( tried to bully my son) I must say,the bully got tought a lesson from my son, I told him how to stand up or be stood on.well long story,in my day,and my children’s day the bullying Was in its own way bad,but compared to this very minute ,I couldn’t imagine it would ever be so horrible and evil as to push someone to take their own life.every time I hear of someone taking their life because they were bullied,I regret being a short term bully,from age 15-18 and I’m grateful no one took their life because of me.I believe a lot of people become bullies,because they were bullied.I pray my grandchildren are not subjected and do not become a bully and their generation will see what happens when someone is being bullied and stand up against it,and lend a helping hand.my heart is heavy with grief for our future,things must change,it’s up to all of us to do our part,and beyond.Thank you again for sharing your experience,and I hope it opens doors for others to share their stories with you,chat again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nelson says:

      I believe anyone is capable of anything-good or bad. That means ANYTHING! From charity work to murder. People say to themselves, “how could he kill his wife” when they watch the news but there was a series of events that took place which led him to that point in his life.

      Like

    2. Nelson says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Like

  2. dolphinwrite says:

    That was very well shared. You’re right in saying that children cannot avoid all bullying, that parents can teach their children how to handle such situations, perhaps placing them in self-defense classes, having them participate in sports (team an individual), perhaps taking debate, and so forth. There is one more thing: why it’s important that our children face bullies. If there was an entity, group, or faction that wanted to take over a company or otherwise, even a nation, they would not want our youth to speak up, face bullies, and have competitions that bring out the best in them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nelson says:

      Great perspective dolphinwrite. You’re correct-children need to learn to deal with these situations in order to be well prepared for their/our future

      Liked by 1 person

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