Monday, September 13, 2010

What Doesn't Kill You...

... Makes You A Better Person. I've heard that saying for years and like to think it is true. I know I can think back to specific instances in my life that were very bad at the time, but now realize I learned some important life lesson from that event and/or that event helped me to mature into the person I am today. You might call it a variation of making lemonade when life gives you lemons. I would classify this as a good thing.

Another item I would classify as a good thing is a news story that came across my computer this morning. I've seen dozens of such stories over the years so I didn't really pay any attention to the specifics, but a school district someplace in the U.S. was going to crack down and try to eliminate student bullying. As a person who suffered his/her fair share of unwanted attention from the local bully, and as an adult who wants today's school children to have access to the best, I can easily applaud their efforts to eliminate bullying.

Please let me be crystal clear on this: I am against bullying. I don't like bullies. If I were ever given the power to eliminate bullying, I would do it. However, I can look back at my school days and actually see where confronting and standing up to bullies made me a better person. I was one of the quiet students back in school, definitely one of the smaller ones, and definitely one of the smarter ones. I've rarely seen a bully pick on someone his own size, but someone that is 6, 8, 10 or more inches smaller and that is some easy pickins. It probably added to their amusement that I didn't back down.

The results: quite a few bloody noses, busted lips, and large bumps on the noggin. But I have also truthfully heard people say Kelli is an easygoing person, but don't make her mad cause she's got cojones! [This is a G-rated blog, get your minds out of the gutter!] I can thank those bullies for what fighting spirit I have.

Kids today face bullying tactics I never heard of in my day. There are computers, e-mail, instant messaging, and cell phones in addition to the actual six-foot-two sixth grader waiting outside for you to exit the building. After sorting through all the pros and cons of this issue, I figured no one could ever completely eliminate bullying, and that might not be a totally bad thing. Perhaps we should try our best to eliminate it, knowing that a very small amount that we miss might make us better people.

Like I said, I'm very confused when I place these two issues side by side. On the one hand, I say getting rid of bullying is a good thing. On the other hand, I think bullying helped me to mature. Any thoughts offered by readers of this humble blog that might un-confuse me would be appreciated.

On the flip side of all that, suppose back when we were in school that everyone was mature enough, secure enough, Christian enough in the way they treated others to where transgendered (used as a blanket term) students had the freedom everyone else had in school. Maybe we could dress the way we really wanted to within the school dress code. I could have really used home economics (which reminds me... I need to buy new batteries for the smoke detector). Our high school football team could have really used all the help they could get, so decent girl players would have been a great blessing. In addition to the FFA, FCA, and the like, we could have the FCC -- Fellowship of Christian Crossdressers. You get the idea.

Now I have before me the way things were versus the way I wish things could have been. If given a choice to live or re-live, it seems obvious the most pleasant scenario would be "the way I wish things could have been". But it pains me greatly to say "the way things were" probably produced the best results.



  1. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Jim had beat the hell out of some of those SOBs who desperately deserved it. Funny though looking back on it all. When he was much younger Jim was a bit of a bully himself. Though karma happened, Jim just couldn't make the connection. I think you're very right though, Kelli. "The way things were", in the end did produce the best results.


  2. Good and thoughtful post.
    I always question when government wants to interfere in human relations.
    The 'bully' issue did arise with my sons and my wife and I looked at it differently. She, as their mother, would do whatever she could to protect her babies from any form of harm or evil.

    My view was to let them learn to fight their own battles. If they come home bruised or hurt they would learn to deal with things better the next time. Also they learn that most wounds heal and that there is a benefit to the resiliance of scar tissue.

    The real outside adult world is not always nice and kind. I wanted my boys to grow up strong and resiliant.

    The Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue" connected with me on several levels.

  3. We have to learn how to deal with bullies because we will face bullies throughout our life, whether at work, or in-laws, or whatever. But I wanted to be clear that if you or a loved one faces some sort of bullying that turns dangerous or scary, please get appropriate help. There is supposedly a dividing line between "male posturing" and "psychos".