An eighth grader makes a silent plea on YouTube. He is scared, especially vulnerable, and desperate, but not without hope. As he makes his plea—to music, using display cards—he fights back the tears, then succumbs. Those 4 minutes and 37 seconds melt the heart.
This young guy acknowledges the hate pointed towards him. He can’t see why and, then, upon further reflection, he can. There is about the situation, within him, a level of recognised self-hatred. A tormented confusion reigns.
And that’s bullying—a nemesis that chases the person down, hunting for blood.
When Courage Is Difficult
It’s so easy for an outsider to say, “Defend yourself; give them back some of their own kind!” Anyone who’s been bullied knows it’s neither that simple, nor is it the warranted response.
The last thing a bullied person needs to hear is, “Defend yourself!”
Rather, what the bullied person might receive more solace from is the validation that aggression is never appropriate, whether to fight the bully or as a justification for the bully’s behaviour.
We need to validate the bullied by knowing just how difficult courage is in such tyrannical circumstances.
What to do, then?
Probably the only tactic that assists with courage in such challenging social situations is in diverting thought from the self onto others suffering the same indignities.
Selflessness is an easier way in reconciling courage than to fight is; it also buoys-up the self-concept—to advocate another person, voluntarily, is the gift of love that’s oh so rare. At once, it is courage, but twice, the gift of God to another ailing human being.
How much better to get alongside another person doing it equally, if not more, tough?
This is not about an instant reaction; it’s more about food for thought—allowing the mind of personal means the time in which to order and reorder its personal situation.
God for Those Reaching Out
We can know by the fact that we know ourselves intimately, more intimately than anyone else knows us, that God knows us.
One step further back, God exists, and if, at this stage, in no other way but via the sinew of hope keeping us alive.
Perhaps there is only one way of knowing God: being desperate enough to reach out; being still within ourselves enough to feel for Divine Presence; the sense of divine healing grace—just what is needed.
With God there is never an end, only hope of fresh beginnings. Each day is that beginning, even if that day feels much like the last.
God wants the bullied to know: you, like even the bully, are uniquely special in Divine sight. If you knew the power of God’s love for you there would be no hesitation of self-love. Most specifically, the Lord believes in you; a special future is planned for you—one you cannot see. God’s plans are never faulty, incomplete, or insufficient. Have faith and grow in faith—this, alone, will get you through.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.