This I Believe

Kimberly - moosic, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: equality, respect

I spent most of my childhood being teased about everything imaginable. I was always the smallest in my class and wore geeky glasses, so I was an easy target. I never stood up for myself, so in a way I suppose I let the bullies think that it was okay to zoom in on me. Years passed and elementary school turned into middle school. By the time middle school came, life had improved. But then I hit puberty. None of the other girls had gone through this before so they thought it was weird. Once again I became the center of everyone’s entertainment. I was now in my full blown awkward stage and my peers made it as miserable as it ever could have been. Everyday I was called ugly and weird. It seemed like it would never stop. I remember thinking if only I had stood up for myself in elementary school, none of this would be happening now. Now in high school, I never get teased and have lots of really great fiends.

As a senior, I see the cycle of torment continuing within my own family. My cousin is 15 and is much larger than most in his grade. He comes home daily telling me of all the torture he endured throughout the day from his fellow class mates. I let my peers control my life and allowed them to think it is okay to pick on the weak. I could see the lack of self-esteem in his fragile eyes. I look at him and I can see that he is an easy target not just because he is larger than the other kids, but because he has little self-esteem. What I find ironic is that he is twice the size of the kids picking on him. His retribution could be effective, yet he doesn’t exploit his size to inflict harm. All he would have to do is say something back to them and it would all be over with.

I believe everyone deserves to be heard and to have self confidence. No person should be given the power to silence another.