Loyalty and Friendship

Max - Bedford, New York
Entered on April 30, 2009

I believe that to succeed you must be loyal. I believe this because in forth grade, I had a friend who was always picked on and made fun of all by the other kids. For instance, kids would often ask me if I was really his friend. For this reason I tried to avoid being seen hanging out with him on the playground, and I often just mumbled something when he tried to talk to me and there were other kids around. I was his only friend that I know of, so I tried to help him and talk to him a lot, but there was a lot of pressure from other kids to ignore him.

He often got bullied by other kids for no reason other than that they saw other people doing it, and wanted to be part of the group. I think that because of this most people didn’t really hate him because of anything bad he did, but just because they realized that it was much easier to hate him than to recognize him as another person, a human being. Some kids didn’t even hate him, they felt sorry for him, but they knew that if they tried to stand up for him they would become an outcast from the rest of the kids who constantly bullied him.

For a while I almost took the path of hating him, but then I realized that this was unfair for him, he had done nothing wrong. From then on I always tried to stand up for him, although it often meant that kids would look down on me to, because they thought that I was just as bad as him, despite that he wasn’t really bad at all. Eventually, it got to the point where most people only really knew him by reputation, even the teachers thought that he was lying about doing things like stealing pencils and not working when he should be, when kids had just forgotten to bring a pencil or just wanted to get him in trouble.

Eventually enough people stood up for him and he got a few friends, many of them kids from other schools who didn’t have any friends in school yet either. So gradually, his situation got better and so did mine, by middle school most people had forgotten his reputation and he made a lot of new friends. Throughout forth grade, I think he told a lot of lies and did some genuinely bad things in retaliation against the kids who were bullying him, but it think he decided to turn himself around and stop doing bad things. I believe this helped him relate better to other kids, and so he made more friends.

He was probably the least liked and most bullied friend I have ever had, but I stuck with him, for instance, if people were saying how bad his grades were or how dumb he was I would always try to stand up or him. By seventh grade, everything had changed, he was a lot more popular than he used to be, and had a lot more friends. I hope that this makes you think twice before you make fun of someone or try to bully them just because you see other people doing it. This I believe.