Sometimes the Mission Chooses You

“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. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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Born This Way

“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.”
~Lady Gaga 

Just last week a young boy, Jamey Rodemeyer, who was only fourteen years old, committed suicide.  He had been taunted and bullied for years because he wasn’t sure of his sexuality and he was different and he just couldn’t take it anymore.  He was a huge fan of Lady Gaga, whose main mission through her music is to promote acceptance and being proud of who you are and the differences that you may bring to the table in any circumstance.  There is no acceptable reason for someone, or a group of people to single certain individuals out because of who they are and because they don’t fit the general mold that society sets for any one person.  There is a reason why God created us all to be different and not to be copies of everyone around us.      

We live in a world where appearances are everything and where being different is not rewarded but rather ridiculed and condemned.  People whose lifestyles are not the same as others are treated like they are diseased.  Those that are unique and creative are made to feel as if there is something wrong with them because their mind thinks differently than the average person’s.  Simply put if people do not know what to make of you, then you are too different for them to accept.         

Bullying is a nationwide issue.  It’s not just happening in one city or even just one state.  People are literally killing themselves to get away from those that are bullying them.  It should never come to that.  Fourteen and fifteen year old children should not feel that they have no other way to escape the judgment of others just because they are their own person and don’t strive to be a carbon copy of everyone else around them.  

When someone writes an eloquent book that touches people’s hearts and souls, maybe even one that causes them to make particular changes in their lives, then the words are powerful and meaningful.  However, when someone uses their words to pick at and ridicule someone and goes to the extent of bullying them, then all of a sudden people’s excuse is ‘their just words, they don’t mean anything’.  So which one is it?  Words are powerful or words don’t mean anything?  Well coming from someone who knows all too well what it feels like to be bullied, words do mean something.  They hold the same amount of power for the negative as they would for the positive, perhaps even more so.  

Words can hurt.  No matter how many people think that what they say shouldn’t greatly affect someone else’s life, chances are, they do.  Sometimes what a person says can shape the rest of someone else’s life.  Perhaps those individuals out there that feel the need to condemn someone else for being themselves should take a much harder look inside.  Who is it that you are trying to be?  Until next time…Be who are, it’s the way that God intended you to be! 

“I’m beautiful in my way, ’cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track, baby. I was Born This Way.”
~Lady Gaga 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

I Regret Not Being Fearless

“Being fearless isn’t being 100% unafraid; it’s being terrified, but you jump in anyway!”

~Taylor Swift 

I was watching an interview the other night on Lady GaGa and her rise to fame and her upbringing.  I was excited to watch this interview because while I am a fan of her music, I am an even greater fan of her business savvy and her work ethic.  She has certainly made a name for herself and her story didn’t start off that much different from other people that have a particular dream growing up.  Of course her upbringing was different in terms of the fact that she probably had a lot more things in the pros column than the cons but the struggle to achieve her dream was still there.  

What I love and can appreciate most about her is her bravery and her fearlessness.  She has never been and still isn’t afraid to do anything when it comes to accomplishing her dreams and she seems to jump head first into everything without ever really looking back.  Watching the interview I found myself wishing that I had that same fearlessness and bravery, both as a child growing up and especially now.  

So many times I had opportunities when I was younger to maybe go to some poetry event or open mic night and read some of my poetry or even sing (because I could actually sing a lot better when I was younger) but I was too afraid.  Afraid to be on stage in front a crowd full of people, afraid that they wouldn’t like my poetry or like my voice, afraid that I somehow would not be good enough and that maybe the talent that I thought I had was all made up in my head and that no one else would share the same thought.  I wasted so much time on all of the cons and I missed out on all of the pros, all because I wasn’t fearless enough.  

I guess it’s too late to wonder what could’ve and might’ve been if I had just been brave enough to jump head first into any number of the things that I wanted to do.  The only thing left to do now is strive to be brave and fearless from this point on.  After watching the interview I was wondering aloud to my best friend, was it just simply too late for me to do the things that I really wanted.  I mean I’m 31 now and I’m not getting any younger and my dreams aren’t becoming any more attainable as time goes by.  She told me (being the voice of reason that she always seems to be) that it’s never too late as long as I still have the ability and the passion to do those things that I want to do.  

That voice of fear was in my ear yet again but this time I don’t plan on feeding into it.  I’ve wasted too much time already and now it’s time for me to be brave, and yes even fearless.  So how brave and fearless are you willing to be for your dreams?  Until next time…Be brave, don’t give yourself anything else to regret!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress