In my lifetime I have been given many names, typically because no one is able to actually pronounce my real name. There are the obvious mistakes such as Ariel and others along those lines of soundings because what people actually pronounce are not any names I have heard in my life and will not try to spell them when they do not exist. Then there are the oddballs where I restrain myself from asking what is wrong with them, such as: Ormelia, Orzelia and yes even Australia. It’s hard for me to understand how you could even be trying the slightest to pronounce my name when you are throwing letters in the mix that aren’t even there. Unfortunately the last one stuck and a few people in my class even started to call me Australia. Whether it was for fun or they thought it would just be easier to not try, I do not know. Anyway the point is I have been bestowed many names, but the one that has tugged the hardest at my heart would be the most recent description as a guardian angel.
Bullying has been a hot subject for a while now as new torturous ways to inflict pain on others has ascended with the advancements in technology and the lack of caring on the children’s part. What ever the reason for bullying that people give themselves is baffling to me because somehow in that mess they tell themselves it’s okay to make others feel horrible.
I have a friend named Chase- who I do not see often due to us going to different schools-and our relationship is more of a technological based one with texting and Snapchat. Despite not seeing or talking to each other very often we have recently started catching up and the idea of how awful he feels just brings overwhelming sadness to me.
He began by talking very bluntly, not really having any emotion or will to try to talk to me. This was not the Chase I had been friends with so I began questioning if everything was okay. Things on his side could be anything but okay. While he described how being at this school, the students outcasted him, made nasty remarks on his thin appearance, and shunned him from anyone he might fit in and belong with.
No one believed in him. No one wanted to be his friend, and why? He doesn’t know. Why does bullying occur and how can anyone be okay with being one?
Chase was empty, he had no lively spirit, no motivation to be or do anything but be sad because his peers had drained him of all viability to be who he is. He saw himself as worthless despite is many amiable and talented qualities. Chase was an artist, very talented and detailed artist. Creating realistic scenes in a momentarily ‘leave you speechless’ kind of way. There shouldn’t have been any reason for him to feel so low about himself.
This goes to show that people believe what everyone tells them they are. Using this in the reverse way I encouraged him. “You are talented and smart and even though you hate this town, there are so many other places in the world to go and there are people out there that you will find and they will love you for who you are.”
“Use your talents and go to college, and just get away from this place and see how relieved you will feel with some space and new people.”
Chase would pause and say: “Why are you doing this? Trying to help me? I’m not worth it, I’m never going to be anything.” Upon our catching up, his peers continued to tear him down by labeling him the ‘Most likely to commit a school shooting’.
I do not know possibly how painful it would feel to be labeled something such as that and to be ignored completely through out the day. When you are hurt everyday and you are labeled as a potential murder, that will only make the situation worse. My heart goes out to Chase and the struggle he is facing.
“What do you think you can do to stop this? What could you possibly contribute to making my life better?” Chase questioned at my attempts to encourage and liberate him.
“Sometimes you only need one person to believe in you, one person to tell you everything is going to be okay and that you can make it. I believe in you.” Is how I replied.
“You’re like my guardian angel.” Chase laughed a bit at the idea he had procured.
Chase is slowly getting better, with encouragement from a few old friends he is regaining that liveliness he had let slip away. All a kid wants in high school is to fit in and feel like he is liked and will be accepted. When you’re constantly put down, why would you feel anything good about yourself if there’s no one there to remind you or believe in you?
Stop the bullying, it kills a person one way or another. Whether they decide to inflict self harm on themselves or they die mentally and emotionally, they slowly leave us. Don’t put others down, don’t tell them they’re nothing because everyone has something to contribute to the world.
Don’t be someone’s bully. Be someone’s guardian angel.