The Hawaiian dancer shakes her hips as the dashboard rattles. In the car behind you is a husky man, and he is outraged that you would even think of going under 60 miles per hour. After he passes you, you have this urge to catch up with him and show him that you could take him. He zooms away. And you are frantic that you could not go as fast. Then Paul McCartney belts out in harmonic tones “All you need is love…” the trumpet following in a downward spiral. Immediately, you realize that your actions were ridiculous, and that next time you knew what you needed.
I have been beaten down, crushed, and broken by others’ words and actions too many times to count. In the fourth grade I was named Bucktooth Beaver, and it stuck for years. This name was my Achilles’ Tendon. I did not originally gain this name at school, but word travels fast. I was an Animorph, not only me, my twin sister. I could not do anything to stop the other kids from picking on the one person I would do absolutely anything for. Some days, I would chase people and scream, and others I would run into a nearby corner and cry. Nothing solved my aching stomach and pounding chest, or the tears draining from my eyes.
Then I got smart. School was like eating soft, warm brownies, just out of the oven; easy. Eventually some people had a grown respect for me. They could not say I was nothing when I was better than them at something. They weren’t my friends but they started to back off. Besides, a few close friends were always the better alternative. Being used to my twin, I was accustomed to close quarters. Every now and then, I would be Beaver for the day, and I would cry, but I got over it with a lot more ease.
Finally, to end my tragic story, I stopped caring. I took a night to ask ‘What does it mean’ and realized that I wasn’t the only insecure person in the room. I noted that the man with the rope was also scared, while I was about to be hanged. I stopped caring about any single opinion that was not my own. After I realized that some people thrived off of domination, as bacteria do, on those with weaker immune systems, I had no worries in the world. Only my close friends mattered, only their opinions counted.
Today someone could walk up to me and tell me I was the ugliest, least liked person in our school and I would shrug it off, have a laugh, and walk away.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that I was by far, not the only one who had been through this, and I did not have the worst of it. It became an unconscious goal to look out for others with the same problems I had. I also realized that as other people had this harsh effect on me, I could just as easily have this effect on others. From then on I worked hard to show the love of Jesus Christ in my every action. I figured if I want the people I meet to be open to my ideas, I must not only tolerate their ideas, but accept theirs, and from that point grow to love theirs.
Depression is the epidemic. Pain is the epidemic. Suffering is the epidemic. And love is the universal cure. In simplest terms, as you’re driving down the road you sing back to Paul McCartney, that all he needs is love. The trumpet sounds.
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