As a younger kid I wasn’t the popular one, I wasn’t pretty one, and basically I felt like didn’t fit in. A common belief in most kids. Because I am such a tall and let me say larger person and have been throughout my life I have often been the victim of cruel jokes or hurtful words from other classmates. It was so bad actually at one point after a certain incident my entire family moved and I switched elementary schools. Even though kids can be so mean at times I believe a single act of kindness can mean the world to another. Even the little things matter.
One day in middle school I was walking to my math teacher’s class during lunch to ask him something and then I heard this boy just laughing at me and calling my name then saying things that I don’t wish to repeat. But then there was another voice. A girl that had always been in my class but I really never got to know her. She just started screaming at him. She told to him to shut up and apologize. Even though what he said hurt, her standing up for me just made me feel so much better. Little instances like these are what help the odd balls get through adolescence.
I don’t want anyone to have to go through this even though I know its impossible to stop all the hurtful words in school and in life. But I believe that a simple act of kindness can mean the world to another. Now that I’m a stronger person and can fight back against anyone putting me down I see others who haven’t found that strength. You have too. Every time you walk down the hall and you see that random bigger guy call that little guy a fag or a girl being teased on her appearance or the way she talks, they need help. I know I can’t help everyone but I would rather fall fighting for a person than them falling alone.
At a band rehearsal we were on the field and one of my mouthy phluties was just relentlessly chastising this guy. He’s a weird kid and I really didn’t know him at the time but he seemed cool. Well I walked right up to her and told her to stop talking to my boyfriend that way. She was surprised and so was he but she never messed with him again along with anyone else. Actually for a while people actually thought we were dating. We both got a kick out of it and I had a new friend. Something as simple as that can make a difference.
I will take the lesson taught by that one girl I knew in middle school and put it into action for the rest of my life. When I something unjust I will not just turn my head I will act.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.