Friday, February 12, 2010

Hey Bully...This One is for You

I was five years old when I learned something very valuable about the neighborhood bully who reigned as king of the Hall Drive hill. I remember his name, and I remember he was very tall for his age...especially to a small girl five years his junior.

The bully loved bad language and taunting all us kids, many times by "borrowing" our toys. No one would stand up to him... not even my two older brothers or their friends.

The bully came from a very disfunctional family in the days when no one even knew what a disfunctional family was! As an adult, I understand that he was extremely insecure and bullying was his only self-esteem prop. As a kindergartener, all I knew is that he was just plain


One day as he was up to his usual taunting, I simply had 'had enough'. I remember pushing through a large group of boys, stopping boldly in front of Mr. Bully. Without skipping a beat, I raised my Little Deer- Junior Elf Book over my head as far as my skinny arms could go, coming forward to whack him squarely on his forehead.

Silence. No one dared to move.

Then, came the part etched so vividly in my memory...

the bully burst into tears and ran home crying.

Hall Drive didn't hold a bike parade in my honor...although that would have been awesome. The older boys were too shocked (and proud) to honor such a squirt as me. But it was truly like Dorothy throwing water on the witch...he never bothered us again!

[BTW...the pic above is the original Little Deer book, and I still carry the same book-whacking attitude. I have a high sense of justice, and no one messes with me...just sayin']

There are bullies at every level of life. They are present all through school. They are in the workplace, in social situations...everywhere. They can even continue to taunt us through our memories. Mean words. Humor and sarcasm that tears down. Dangling material possessions in front of others. Any time a person is found tearing down rather than building up, they are being a bully.

Few people will dare to be as mean as the Hall Drive bully was, but I think misplaced humor can be just as discouraging a tool that tears others down in order to prop ourselves up. I think we should all examine our words and ask ourselves if we want to be remembered as the one who always discouraged...or encouraged.

Think about it.


  1. Girl, I so understand. When I was in middle schooler, there was a new girl. I'll never forget her name because it fit her perfectly...awkward. From the minute she walked into Jefferson Junior High, she became the brunt of everyone's taunts. Any insecurity anyone had, it was lumped upon her. And I hated it. They would tape the word "dog" on her back and this girl would allow them to do it as they laughed at her down the hall.

    One day I couldn't take it anymore. Although I was scared out of my wits, I'll never forget it but I pulled the words off her back and yelled, "STOP!!!!" I can't remember if the bullies really stopped but I will never forget the courage and guts it took for me to do it.

    I have always thought of myself as being someone you don't mess with. I'm little and couldn't really hurt a fly but that doesn't stop me. I completely understand you and think we would have been besties back in the day.

    I appreciate your post as this week I have been battling two people I'm related to who have bullyish attitudes. I think the Lord wanted me to read your post at just the right time.

    Keep fighting. I got your back! I hope one day we'll get to meet and hug!

  2. I'm lovin' that 'tude!

    The stuff going on at my older daughter's church right now seems to fit into all this. Very bizarre goings-on at Holy Souls.