#Bullying Kills. Let’s Put A Stop To It Before It Does Again. @AveryDixonOnSax @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org
My youngest (adult) daughter and I love our TV time together, so, last night she was pushing me to watch something we’ve never watched (together) before; a show many of you are probably in love with – something called America’s Got Talent.
As we sat down with a bag of our recently purchased popcorn (you know where we got it from), I began to fall asleep because my work day had been long. She reached over and shoved me, “Mommy, you have to see this. Wake up.” So, I got out of my fetal position on the sofa, and lightly slapped my face a couple of times, because I could tell that she really wanted me alert for what I was about to see.
The video clip below ripped at my soul so deeply… I cried. I asked my baby to rewind it twice more so that I could watch it again, and with each replay, my anger grew (although my heart swelled in the end).
I didn’t sleep well last night after watching that video. I tossed and turned at the horrible childhood memories this video stirred in me. I woke up this morning rushing to Google to locate an old junior high classmate of mine who had been horribly bullied when we were kids. This was several decades ago, and although I can’t say that we were friends, I always went out of my way to show her that she mattered in my eyes, because of the way everyone else treated her. I always smiled when I saw her, and I always said “hello” – greeting her by name, as there had been so many other ugly names and labels thrown at her. “Ugly monkey” was the worst of them all.
When I was growing up, the school district that I attended held graduations in 6th, 9th, and 12th grade. I recall after exiting the stage of my 9th-grade graduation where I had served as a speaker, she was waiting outside the auditorium door for me. She first said “Hello,” with a smile that she always wore (no matter how badly they treated her), and then she asked if she could hug me. Tears rushed to my eyes. She felt that I was so much more important than she was, that she just wanted to touch me. During that embrace and as my mom looked on, she whispered, “Thank you for always being so nice to me.” Although she had whispered it, my mom heard what she said. On the way home, she cried, too.
We were in 9th grade – just kids.
I never forgot that moment and I’ve never forgotten her. Years later, a friend of mine who lived close to this classmate when we were younger, told me that she was a prostitute. They would see her walking the streets dressed in a certain manner, and getting in and out of cars late at night in their old neighborhood. All I could think was that she was what she was, because of how badly she had been bullied as a child. I knew that “they” had done this to her. “They” being our classmates. “They” had broken her spirit and made her feel that this was all she was worth.
Her story is one of the reasons I have raised my daughters to be as amazingly kind and compassionate as they are. Her story is why I am such a fierce defender of others, especially when I feel they are being bullied and aren’t strong enough to stand up for themselves. Her story, is partially why I don’t take crap from anyone, and I don’t entertain nonsense of any kind.
If you have young kids and grandkids, please teach them to always be better. Teach them that it is not OK to tease, make fun of, or call others by anything but their name. If your kids are older now and you feel that you may have slacked or failed horribly in this department, remember, as parents, we should never stop teaching and modeling behaviors we want our children to embody. Have conversations with your older (adult) kids. Watch how they treat people and speak to people, and step in when you feel they can do and be better.
The kid in this video below, Avery Dixon, changed my life. His story will change yours, too.
PLEASE WATCH THIS ALL THE WAY THROUGH WITH YOUR SPEAKERS UP SO THAT YOU CAN HEAR EVERY WORD. Be sure to share the post! Let’s show him how much we know that he matters!