"Be ye kind one to another. Tender hearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
October was bully awareness month in our school district and there were signs all over telling kids to stamp out bullying, etc. I applaud those efforts. It's a worthy cause and many times we fixate on one certain kind of individual. Today my granddaughter captured my attention and it propelled me back to my memories of my years growing up being bullied.
"Grandma, what does it mean if someone is nice when no one else is around and calls you names when others are?" I thought for a moment.
"It means they are not really your friend," I responded.
"But they're being made to be mean to me." Bless her heart. The child may have being coerced to be mean to my granddaughter but obviously the child hadn't learned to have a backbone and not hurt someone.I blurted out that the person was a weak person who obviously didn't know how to be a friend.
Memories of supposed friends flooded my mind. Being called names because of naturally curly hair and being pigeon-toed came back to me. spitballs being hurled at my head on the school bus while the driver ignored the goings on. Being burnt by a boy in art class who was mean and a class all going along with him because he was popular while a teacher was out of the room. Being invited to a boy/girl party and being shunned by the boys because I didn't wear the "right" clothes and my frizzy, ugly hair. I could go on and on but you get the point.
All of the sudden, there it was. And I could hear the hurt in my sweet granddaughter's voice who wants nothing more than to be kind to people around her and see them learn to love Jesus. All I can do is pray for her and tell her teachers, principal or anyone who will listen about the way she's being treated. The most important thing though is to somehow get her through this part of her life without thinking she's an inferior individual unworthy of love and acceptance like her grandmother. Were it not for a young woman in my high school years that welcomed me to her school I might not have any pleasant memories of growing up and might be more messed up than I am but I am thankful for that shining star in a dark world of depression and sadness and unworthiness that taught me that I might be someone worth knowing. I wrote about her in a book a few years ago and sent her a copy with a note of gratitude. I never heard back from her. I know nothing of her life, but Janis made a difference in my life and for that I will always be eternally grateful!