Last night I was working with a kid in my group who is being bullied in school. While this is a very common occurrence in America it got me to thinking. I have done a lot of research and reading on other cultures and most if not all third world countries don't deal with the bullying like we do, it just doesn't come up. Perhaps when you are faced with finding your own dinner and protecting your siblings you can't find the time to pick on someone because of their parents income or living situation. So why in a country of abundance (obesity is still one of our Nation's most effective killers) aren't we more content and less likely to turn against each other. Dogs will go after one another if you deprive them of food but will run as a pack if times are good, not us...the better times are monetarily the more likely we are to turn on one of our own.
I found myself once again without answer on a Wednesday night. I know that pain he was feeling. Our home burnt down when I was 12 leaving us with nothing, we wore hang me downs from the church and stayed with friends. I can assure you that not only did I not strike the match that burnt it nor did I have the ability to rebuild or replace my home, but it was in fact my fault for being "without" in school. The ridicule that brother and I faced on a daily basis was incredible. I tried to draw from that experience last night to help this little face in front on me. I thought back...what did I do to make them stop. The answer is simple. I conformed. As soon as I was old enough I got a job that enabled me to buy the name brand clothes, I moved schools and started a whole new life in which no one knew that I was poor or that I paid rent to live in my Dad's house. So back again to my dilemma, do I tell this little boy to conform? After all it worked for me, even though it goes against EVERYTHING I stand for now. Do I tell him to ignore them, even though I know it is pointless...I mean common' the kid lives in a Safe House after being transferred states in the dark of night in police cars, sad for adults to think about, but brilliant for bullies. Nope instead I just starred back at him blankly, my mouth wouldn't move, couldn't tell him the options I had. He's an amazing little boy so it didn't take long for him to smile and mention that his tongue was blue and go back to coloring. I suppose I will feel this helpless a lot as a parent, hopefully I will be blessed with a daughter who eats blue candy.