Both Sides Now

My experience with bullying is unfortunately all too typical.  It started in middle school, when I dared to stand up against people saying bad things about me, but even when I was bullied at no point was I ever threatened the way today's kids are threatened.

I have also been the bully myself.  A story:  I had this friend named James.  James was the outcast of the outcasts.  Brilliant, imaginative, intelligent, a little odd, but otherwise harmless.  I was his friend from middle school until my junior year at high school.  I stopped being his friend and started believing some of the things that they were saying about him and actually started saying some of the hateful things and doing them.  Why?

Because I wanted to fit in, that's why?  It's a shallow reason, but dollars to donuts you will probably find that very reason is what drives a lot of kids today to do the same thing.  He was an outcast, and I was tired of being one of those.  So I shunned him, and tragically he lost his life in an accident where he was electrocuted.
What happened after that is something I will never forget.  Weeks later after I learned that he was the victim of that accident, I lamented that I missed him.  His older sister brought me up short and told me that I was the worst one of them all because I was his best friend and I turned on him.
Ever since then, it has been my passion to see justice done and to stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves.


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