“You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won’t help, but that is no excuse, you must still act.”
~Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
It’s hard for anyone to know as a small child what they will be when they grow up. Lots of children say they want to be a doctor or a teacher and then they change their minds when they find another thing they are more passionate about. Some children (like me) discover a passion and it never goes away. I’m not sure how many people aspired to be an activist when they were younger but it is amazing how the experiences in your childhood could fuel a mission that you never even knew was waiting for you.
When I was younger I was bullied and picked on a lot and not just by the kids at school. Mostly it was because of my weight but a lot of it was also because I didn’t necessarily fit in with the other kids at school. I was always a creative, artsy, type and most of the kids didn’t really understand me. I had hoped that when I had a child that the bullying would skip over her and that she would not have to endure that kind of hell. Unfortunately kids have not changed much since I was little, in fact, they’ve only gotten worse.
Seeing the bullying that goes on in today’s society makes what I went through (at least by the kids at school anyway) look like it was nothing. Kids now just really like to humiliate other kids that have even the slightest appearance of a weakness or a difference. They don’t stop at just hurtful and derogatory words, they are getting physical and their attitude is nonchalant about anyone else’s feelings but their own. The kids in my daughters class literally make me want to forget that I am a Christian because when I see how they act I want to shake them and ask them what their problem is. They are bullies and they are proud of it.
I started thinking about what I could do to change things if I was in the position that I had planned on being by now. If I were someone like Oprah or Lady GaGa, with their money, their prestige, and their power (in a sense) just imagine what I could do as far as taking a stand against the bullying that is relentless in schools today. But when I watched Oprah’s next chapter last night, which was a special on Lady GaGa and her Born This Way Foundation (fighting against bullying), I realized that someone without all of that money, prestige, and power, can still be effective right where they live.
I started to realize, with all of the bullying that is getting worse as the years go on, and the kids who are literally pushed so far that they sometimes take their own life, it doesn’t matter who is taking a stand as long as someone takes one. Just as I am sure that Lady GaGa and Oprah never set out to be an activist of any kind, I am also sure that the experiences that they went through in their youth were somehow, even then, preparing them for that exact journey.
I myself would have never thought that there would be anything good that could’ve possibly come from my childhood experiences. However, I am starting to feel something inside me that is pulling me in the direction of using those experiences to take a stand against bullying. I may not be able to reach people on a national level but I most certainly think that there has to be something that I can do, or get the right people to do, for the schools in my immediate area (starting with my daughter’s school).
I’m no Oprah or Lady GaGa, but I am me and I think that if I wait until I am in the position that they are in (because I do believe I will get there someday in the near future) that it may just be too late (especially for my own daughter). I think that I want to start looking into the ways that ordinary people like me can do something about this epidemic (because that’s what it’s becoming). Who knew that I would ever want to be an activist of any kind? I guess sometimes those childhood traumas you thought you would never get past can be used to help prevent someone else from going through the same kind of pain that you did.
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”