I was a pretty lucky kid in school. By all standards, I was normal and didn’t stand out, both is a good or bad way. In fact, there may have been a time or two that people may have started bullying me i.e. making fun of me and one of my quirks but I have a pretty thick hide … a huge ego usually helps with that :p It may have taken me time but I learnt what Wil Weaton said to this little girl at comic con is so true.
The strongest memory of bullying from my childhood was when my friends turn all mean girls on another girl in school one day. I went home thinking all night. Yes, I didn’t partake in the teasing but I just stood there. While I didn’t add to the fire, I sure as hell wasn’t trying to put it out. I struggled a fair bit that night and knew I was as wrong as my friends. It said more about my friends and me that we thought it was fun to pick on someone different from us, than it did about her. So when my nephew started school and had experienced bullying himself, it brought back clear memories of navigating the social politics of school.
I wish I can say I haven’t had to struggle with it as much in my adulthood but we all grow at different stages. This much is clear, bullying, intended or otherwise very often says more about the aggressor than the aggress-ee. Pride, arrogance and safety in numbers dulls a lot of us into an unconsciousness that happens way into adulthood too. So how can we expect our children to be any better? We can’t. We can only expect more from ourselves, I guess. That’s the hard bit – expecting more from myself.
The 30s has been a roller coaster ride of learning about who I am. I suspect the 40s is going to be about who I can become.