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

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

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Where Credit Is Due

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

~Mahatma Gandhi 

I am reminded every morning when I go to the gym to workout that I am a lot stronger than I think I am.  Each day when I do something else that I never thought that I could do or that I said that I would never even try, it reminds me that I sometimes don’t give myself enough credit.  A lot of us tend to do that in general during the course of our everyday lives.  We get it in our heads that we are only as good as the limits that we set for ourselves, not realizing that we often set the bar too low and don’t give ourselves nearly as much credit as we deserve.  

If we think about it, each time we reach an obstacle and find ourselves saying that we can’t handle anything else, not only do we surpass that obstacle but it builds us up stronger for the one that is sure to come after that.  They say that which doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger, and while sometimes I find myself wanting to throw a certain finger up at whoever started that phrase, I find it to be very true.  My struggles have not only made me stronger but made me more ambitious and determined.  I feel that with each road block I face during the course of my journey I am made to be hungrier and more driven to reach my destination.  

Someone at the gym told me that I have been coming to the gym lately with a new drive and as if I was on a mission for the year 2012.  I am on a mission.  I plan on setting that bar increasingly higher for myself and raising my own expectations right along with it.  I am strong enough to achieve anything I desire despite the struggles I have to face along the way.  I am going to stop counting myself out before I even make it to the starting line and start giving myself the credit that I deserve.  Until tomorrow…Ask yourself if you are giving yourself enough credit? 

 

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