Sara - Bedford, New York
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Have you ever felt that somebody is trying to make you feel lower than them? Like you’re not as equal? Have you ever seen somebody’s confidence sink down and didn’t do anything about it? Have you ever been the reason to make somebody want to hide, to feel invisible towards the rest of the world, to vanish? If you haven’t stopped bullying, don’t you think you’re just as guilty as the person who was bullying someone? Knowing that you had a chance to stop it, but you didn’t? And for what reason? You were afraid someone might make fun of you too? Have you ever taken into consideration how you’re affecting somebody’s life just by harsh words? Affecting how they see the world, and how they see themselves? Have you taken into consideration how you can alter somebody’s life, just by slipping a few words out of your mouth? Well if you haven’t, maybe you should now.

I believe in integrity. I believe that if you have faith in something, you should stick to it, and not let anybody’s views get in the way of yours. It’s your mind, not theirs. I believe in empathy. I believe in feeling what somebody else feels, in understanding what’s going through their mind, and in taking into consideration how you would feel if you were in that position too. I believe in respect. I believe that everybody is equal, so everybody should be treated the same, with kindness and fairness. I do not believe in bullying. I believe that the only reason people bully is to try and show that they are more significant then others, even though they are just trying to hide that they are weaker then them inside. They want to make themselves feel better by bringing down someone else’s self esteem to make it lower then theirs. I also believe that if you stay true to integrity, empathy, and respect, you can stop yourself from bulling people, bring yourself to stand up for people who are being bullied, and make yourself not over think the things people say.

I always knew that bullying was wrong, and I always knew that it made people feel bad, but I never truly understood how much it could hurt someone until I experienced it happening to a girl in my grade. This girl was a girl I wasn’t particularly friends with, but I had nothing against her. This girl gets bullied a lot, for reasons I still don’t know. Some people say different things about her that she’s mean, and insecure, but I believe that she may only be like that because of the people that are hurtful towards her. I bet that the people who do say those things are in fact, mean and insecure. They bring her hopeful spirits down to a sense that she wonders why she’s getting treated the way she does, she wonders what’s wrong with her that she gets made fun of, she wonders what she did to deserve this. She has no answer, because she has done nothing wrong. She has done no wrong deed to be worthy of all of this, but yet, she still gets harassed for nothing. So why does it still happen? Why do people still have to make her cry? Why do people have to bring her self confidence go even lower? This is yet another unexplainable thing that nobody knows the answer of, but yet it still goes on.

One day at the cafeteria, during lunch, it was just another day of harassment for her, but hopefully this time it turned out different. I guess some drama went on with her and a couple of my friends last night. It was about something stupid as always, something like who was prettier then someone, and this poor girl got in the middle of it. My friends were raging with fury, mad about what she said, which was basically nothing, and she was pretty much forced into saying what she said. It was as if they would do anything to make her be even more upset with herself then she already was. It was as if it made them happier knowing someone was upset. A couple of my friends scurried over to where she sat at lunch, and started yelling at her. They said hurtful words, words that would stick with her for her whole life, words that would stay in her head and be reminded of constantly. She broke down and started crying, I could see the tears rolling down her face. Her tears, hot and sticky, every single one streaming down leaving her body empty with only sadness left in her. Seeing her so torn up suddenly made me feel terrible for her, it was like I could feel her pain inside me, and I could understand how she felt. It came to me that I couldn’t let this go on, I couldn’t let her cry anymore, I would feel horrible if I didn’t do anything, being that I could have prevented someone from feeling so bad, but I didn’t do it.

When my friends returned, I could hear some of them chuckling about the latest event, I confronted my friend who went over there and questioned her about what happened. I mentioned that she didn’t deserve all of that and that me and her should go over and say something to her, and that she should apologize for making her feel so bad. I grabbed her by the hand and tugged her to follow me. As we approached her, I could see a couple of her friends comforting her, trying to tell her that it would all blow over. When she saw us, she immediately covered her face, trying to prevent us from seeing her cry, and she was probably scared that we would say cruel words to her again. My friend and I took a seat across from her, and I explained that my friend wanted to apologize, it took my friend a couple of seconds to gather her thoughts, but then a light went off in her brain which led her to then realize what she did was wrong. The words gushed out of her mouth and you could tell she meant every word she said. The girl felt better, but was obviously still shaken up on what had happened before. We told her it would all be okay, and that we had nothing against her. We also mentioned that if anyone confronted her about this, to tell us so we could talk to them and tell them not to bother her anymore.

When we went back to our table, my friends looked at us like we had just done something completely wrong, I told them that what they did was wrong, and that they should not hurt someone’s feelings or yell at someone for no reason. Even though my friends thought I was completely weird for doing what I did, I felt extremely proud myself because I knew I just made someone’s day go from completely miserable, to a little better and also made somebody a little happier.

The event that I had just experienced really changed my thinking on things, on how you can affect someone so greatly when you don’t even realize it. By your body language, the remarks you make, and how you act towards others, it all counts and it all hurts. To see someone so hurt, and knowing that you were friends with the people that did it just made everything worse, I knew they were my friends, but no matter who the people are that are bullying, even if they are your best friends, it still never makes it right. There is no reason someone should feel so bad about themselves that they have to break down crying, and wonder what is wrong with them, or what they did to make people act this way towards them. I’ve heard this stuff many times before, about how bullying is bad, but like I said before, you can never truly understand the meaning of what they are saying unless you have experienced it in some way. Even though I wish that incident with that girl never happened, in a way I’m glad it did, not for the reason of her being so sad, but for the reason that I now understand how hurtful it could be, and for the reason that instead of just letting it go, I did something about it to make it stop, and that just makes everything better. I believe in a world with no bullying, I believe in a place where nobody has to get their feelings crushed, and I believe that everybody can put in their all to make this possible.