This I Believe

John - Omaha, Nebraska
Entered on December 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: golden rule

All throughout elementary school, I had to deal with people who got their fun by belittling me verbally and physically. But I never got violent. In high school, things have gotten better, but I’ve been on the receiving ends of taunts and even been hit a few times. But I never swung back. Why? Retaliation and violence will never accomplish anything at all, so just get back up and do your best.

Picture this: two of my friends and I are messing around in gym class during my junior year of high school, trying to kick the longest field goal. When I was lining up to take one, an older kid in my gym class who called me names and always played rough on me speared me from behind. A lot of the other people laughed, but I knew who the bigger man was. My hip was bothering me, but I brushed myself off and made the field goal. I didn’t brag about it, but silently felt great about it.

Another example of this is in one of my sixth grade soccer games. I was playing on the side of the field opposite the lone referee. Some kid on the other team thought he would be cool if he threw an elbow in my face, which he did. His elbow got me in the mouth and my tooth cut my lip, which started bleeding. This kid just got in my face with a “what are you going to do about it?” expression. I didn’t do anything then, but I set my teammate’s goal up by passing around him.

Finally, these kind of things peaked in my sophomore year. While playing a game of “knockout” in gym class, tensions exploded. All of the kids were acting stupid and one of them kicked my ball away before I could shoot it. So I joined in the “fun” by blocking another student’s shot. But then he stepped up to me and punched me in the eye for it. Apparently, he took it seriously and you could tell he wanted to fight it out. But I just walked away and started shooting casually with my friends at another basket.

Physical violence won’t affect me. I’ll just get up and continue to strive for my best. Dealing with people that don’t like me has been something I’ve done my entire life. But I’m not going to get revenge on them. That’s not the way things should be done. Retaliation won’t accomplish anything, nor will violence. Sadly, many people don’t understand that the best way to react is to keep doing your best and don’t let these other people bring you down to their level. I believe that the best way to handle revenge and violence is to pick yourself up and do better the next time.