Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What from your childhood are you most thankful for?

I apologize for taking so long to write this story, but it really got me thinking. I came to the conclusion that I am the most thankful for the imperfections of my childhood.

Hopefully, we all learn from mistakes. I think that it takes me longer than it does others. This brings me the serious point that I would like to discuss.
I had many imperfects in my childhood, surely, but there is one fact that I have grown from.

I don't think that this story is going to be from the standpoint that you suspect, because for the most part, I was the bully.

At that time in my life, I would not have classified myself as such, but looking back I defiantly do. I did rude things for personal benefit, or no benefit at all. I thought that doing rude things would make me popular. I thought I would fit in better if I was a jerk to the people that "nobody liked anyway". As far as short term goes, I was kind of right. But in the long term, being a bully was the worst mistake I made as a child.

Before I started bullying, I was bullied myself. I must have seen something in those kids. It seemed like they always got what they wanted and it never hurt them. That was a false perception. I never wanted to be like them, I hated what they did to me, but somehow I ended up like them. It took me a very long time to realize how wrong I was and a really long time to change.

I am terribly ashamed of this, but it taught me a valuable lesson. It doesn't matter what other people think, it matters what is right. We all know when we are being rude. Telling jokes at others expense, laughing at people, physical harm. I participated in those sort of things, and all because I wanted to "fit in". Sometimes when we are jerks over and over, the feeling of regret starts to numb. But it all hits you at once when you realize how big your mistakes truly were.

When I am rude to people now, even though I am in college, I remember what it was like for me, on the day that I lost a lot of friends because of some decisions I had made. Decisions at the expense of others. The tables turned and I was no longer the bully, but had returned to being bullied. That is when I knew I had a serious issue to deal with.

The reason I am thankful for this is because it changed me as a person. I try to think about what I say now. I try to think of others before myself. Sometimes I slip up, of course, but I am no longer a bully. And I am no longer bullied. I am stronger and more independent because of things that happened to me when I was a child.
Bullying has had an influence on me, from both standpoints. It is wrong.

I am not thankful for bullying, but I am thankful that I had those experiences when I did so that I could grow as a person.

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