Facing Fear

Megan - Roy, Utah
Entered on November 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe everyone has courage to stand up for what they know is right.

My mother is a withdrawn person. She fears social situations and being forced to talk to people. All her life she was the one who looked on and said nothing. If a stranger spoke to her she shrunk back, looked away, and spoke softly to the floor.

I was a new third grader and a clone of my mother. I left after school and walked to where she was waiting for me, barely noticing the kids near the large pine tree. It was David, and the kids who teased him.

David was the boy no one liked. He was large, wore camouflage clothing every day, big boots, thick glasses, and stunk of body odor.

While I got in the car my mother noticed the kids near the tree. She thought they acted strange. When I turned I saw that the kids were calling David names. They circled him and laughed like hyenas. I wasn’t surprised, this often happened to David.

But today one of the boys picked up a pinecone, gazed at it, then threw it at the back of David’s head. The kids laughed. Each child picked up pinecones and began throwing them with hatred at David. He stood in the midst of them confused and hurt, a giant pummeled by ants.

Without hesitation, without fear, my mother jumped from the car and dashed to the tree. Dread rushed over me. Everyone knew she was my mother, and everyone would be angry at me. She charged toward them and yelled like I’d never heard before. I could hear her voice carry across the street. “PUT THOSE DOWN NOW!”

The kids around David dropped their pinecones and slunk away looking ashamed. My mother, my people-fearing mother, helped David up, spoke kind words, and saw him off. When she came back to the car all she said was, “No one should be treated like that. Somebody had to do the right thing.” She had the courage to stand up for what was right through all her fears.

A few years later I made friends with Bree who had a mild mental disorder. One night my group of friends invited her to a sleepover. They thought it would be fun to turn off all the lights and pretend there were ghosts. They made sounds, threw things, and grabbed Bree from behind. She started screaming. I could hear how scared she was. I yelled for my friends to stop, and turned the lights back on. Bree was crying. I sat by her and told her they were only pretending.

I needed to stand up to my friends for Bree. I could have lost my friends, I could have been laughed at, but I wasn’t. My mother gave me the example I needed to do the right thing in the face of fear. I believe everyone has courage to stand up for what they know is right.