This I Believe

Paige - Manlius, New York
Entered on January 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Words Can Hurt

Have you ever been called a nasty name, or been picked on and teased? Physical pain may hurt extremely, but I believe that its emotional pain that really does damage to people. I went through kindergarten all the way up to sixth grade before the tormenting and teasing began to stop. People may think that the older you get the more mature you are. WRONG! The teasing and tormenting never stops, it may not be as much, but it gets more offensive and more hurtful. This, I believe, is what really hurts people, but this is also what gives us the power to change things. Instead of hurting each other with words, we should get together and talk things out.

School is supposed to be a place to go where you can learn new things, see friends, and be safe. But, ironically it is also the place where you would get picked on or discriminated against the most. I used to have many, many friends. Well, I thought I did. They were just pretending to be my friends. All they wanted to do was build up my confidence and then break me down.

For a few weeks at the beginning of every year in elementary school they were “my friends.” They then began to pick on me, calling me four eyes, and saying things like “What are you gonna’ do? Tell your mommy?” I would reply with a “Yes…..y—eesss, I am.”

All throughout elementary school there was a particular group of girls that really liked to pick on me. Jessica who became my best friend and shining light through it all was friends with them, so I thought she wouldn’t stick up for me. One event that occurred that I vividly remember happened in third grade. One morning before school I was in the gym and they began to tease me. I started to cry. I went and sat by myself like I always do, and I just cried. Jessica sat down next to me and asked me what was wrong. I replied with a sniffle, “ Madison and RayAnne were picking on me again.” She got up and left. She came back a few minutes later with Madison and RayAnne in tow. They then apologized and we were friends again. This is how real friends can change hurtful words, and have a positive influence on somebody else. I will never forget that.

I strongly believe in the statement “words can hurt.” But I also believe that you shouldn’t let bullies get to you. Ignoring them may not work, but you can be better than them by not stooping to their level. If you have good friends, they will help you through whatever may happen along the way. Be strong.