October 23, 2008


I know, it's hard to believe, but I got picked-on when I was a kid. I got picked-on in elementary school. I got picked-on for the first couple of years in high school. Usually, the bullying was verbal. A couple of times, the bullying was physical.

I don't regret being bullied. I wasn't traumatized by it. It didn't make me angry. It didn't make me fearful. It didn't weaken my self-confidence; it made it stronger. If anything, the bullying made me a surer, more empathetic person, willing to stand up for myself and for others when they're being treated poorly.

I realised early on in my life that bullies only win when you let them get to you. 

I turned the bullying into a game: I wouldn't let it get to me and, as a reward, I got to see some very deflated (and, in one case, frightened) bullies.

With that said, I wouldn't wish bullying on any kid. It's naive to think that it doesn't happen, though. It happens all the time.

Yesterday, Jade and I were swimming at the Canada Games Centre, having a great time in the Lazy River. We were both smiling and giggling as we sprayed each other with a rubber ducky. In the middle of her laughter, Jade had a seizure. The second it ended, she continued her laughing. So did I.

I used to get angry at Jade's seizures, the bullies inside her brain.  I didn't get angry this time, though, and it surprised me. We were having too much fun to be angry.

It was at that moment that I realised, if Jade doesn't let her seizures get to her, why should I?

That a bully can only succeed when you let the bullying get to you is a life-lesson I had forgotten.

Well, I remember it now.

Take that, bully!


Anonymous said...

Oh, you made me smile with this. :)

dogsled_stacie said...

Wow, kids are amazing teachers eh??

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

That is great. I bet she is learning a lot from your reaction to the seizures.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful analogy, thanks for this piece of learned wisdom!

Anonymous said...

Nicely written, Michael. Though I was certain from the headline in which general direction the story would be heading, the actual plot right up the the punchline kept revving up the suspense. Well done. Gabe