Middle school. I don’t think I have ever met anyone that LOVED their middle school years. Puberty, hormones, note passing, crushes, mean girls…the list goes on. My youngest son is in the 7th grade and his adjustment to a small-town Texas school has been difficult. Along with the regular pressures of middle school, he is the new kid in a place where everyone knows everyone. And a couple of bullies have persisted. Fortunately, it hasn’t been physical, but words are just as damaging.
How do I convince my son it will get better? A 12-year old mind cannot understand that this too, shall pass. And the unfortunate truth is that bullies surround us no matter our age. Bullies are in the workplace, making the lives of the select few miserable. Yes, I am talking about adults. Their behavior is atrocious as they try to demean and belittle others so that they can feel better about themselves. There are even bullies in church! Yes, church. (Disclaimer: not my current church😊). I have seen adults who consider themselves “good Christians,” backstab, spread rumors, and try to ruin others simply because they need to be important. Some of these people are in their 60’s and 70’s!
I have finally realized a truth when it comes to bullies…it’s ALL middle school.
Adults behaving like disrespectful, hateful kids in the workplace, in church, in our communities, in government…they are everywhere. It’s a sad truth. I want my son to understand that bullies may seem powerful, but in truth, their hate makes them small and insignificant in the grand scheme of it all.
For now, I impress upon my son the importance of being a good citizen, standing up for others, and himself.
To the bullies in the world, one day someone will treat you as bad if not worse than how you treat others. In that moment, I hope you have a revelation. The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is how we should live. It doesn’t take anything special to be a good human being. It’s all about love, kindness and compassion.
If your heart is filled with ugliness, you too, will portray that ugliness to the world.
It’s never too late to change.