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Shower bullies with kindnessPosted Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at 12:58 PM
I have addressed the issue of bullying before, but recently I watched a video that brought me to tears.
An eighth-grade boy expressed his fears -- with tears running down his face -- of returning to school in a month because the way other students treated him due to his sexual orientation.
"I can't do this anymore. I'm tired of being torn down, and building myself up to be torn down AGAIN," Jonah Mowry revealed on note cards in the video that has recently gone viral.
Bullying doesn't have to affect children long term, so this one is for the kids.
Thirteen years seems like a long time to go to school and be surrounded by the same peers year after year. With the exception of a few students transferring in and out, you start kindergarten and end your senior year of high school with the same people.
It is easier for some people to make friends because they are more outspoken and aren't afraid to talk to people.
I was one of the kids that had trouble making friends as I grew up because I was a head taller than all the boys, and people thought it was weird.
I was shy and kept to myself a lot because harsh words from the older kids on the bus made me feel like I didn't belong.
The good news is, I survived and everyone else can too.
Now, I stand up straight at 6-feet tall.
Bullied children are not alone in the fight to survive. There are others just like you no matter how alone you feel.
Despite cruel remarks that seem like they will never end: You are beautiful, handsome and someone loves you.
Embrace your differences and use them to your benefit. For example, I used my height to play basketball for almost 10 years.
The bullied need to band together and stand up for one another. If you see another of your peers being tortured by a bully, take a step out of your comfort zone and become their friend.
It's more difficult for one mean person to feel comfortable enough to go after a group of five or six kids. Band together and take a stance, but don't sink to the bully's level.
Say kind things or use humor to confuse them because there is a good chance that insecurities are causing them to lash out at you. When someone is rude to me, I just smile and am as nice as possible.
It will either brighten their day, or the bully will see they aren't hurting you and get bored with the idea.
Someone once called me a behemoth and told me to "go back to the circus."
I replied jokingly, "I live in a circus. Have you not met my family?"
He didn't know what to say, and left me alone.
You don't have to be a slave to the attacks. It is possible to overcome what seems to be the hardest years of your life.
The best part is once you graduate high school you get a chance to start over. You can accomplish all of your dreams if you ignore the negative and focus on where you want to go in life.
You can be a doctor if you want. If you want to be a veterinarian, no problem. If you want to be a nurse, it is within your reach.
Jonah concluded his video by saying, "I'm not going anywhere because I am strong, and I have a million reasons to be here."
If the bullying gets to you, reach out to a parent, sibling, friend or teacher. Never give up hope.
Sabrina is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 847-4487.
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