The following was written by Avremel, an 11 year old student in a Lubavitch elementary school:
Do you know the saying “sticks and stones will hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Well, it’s not true. Words DO hurt, a LOT.
Recently, I was being bullied in my school. Well, sadly, I still am. I don’t want to share my name and I won’t say who are the ones that are bullying me because I don’t want to embarrass them.
It wasn’t always like this.
I used to be one of the most popular kids in my class, along with my two best friends. I’m a good student and (almost) always follow the rules. We were always nice to everyone else and everyone got along.
Then, one day, everything changed.
One of my friends decided to do something that I thought was mean, so I said I’m not doing it. The next thing I knew, this “friend” had convinced the rest of the class to join in on this mean thing, and that’s when the bullying started.
What do I mean by “bullying”? Are they pushing me and shoving me? Are they hurting me physically? No.
What they do is worse–they hurt me with words.
They started saying mean stuff about me. Sometimes, they wouldn’t say them straight out, but would use code words to make fun of me. If I was together in a group with them, they would make a point of saying hi to everyone else and ignore me, while giggling to themselves.
I’m not just telling you this story because I’m bored or because I want you to feel bad for me. I am telling this story so that maybe, someone, can learn a lesson from it and maybe it will stop someone else from being bullied. Please, think before you speak, because words can hurt.
Sometimes, even if you don’t say anything and just ignore someone and make them feel left out, it can hurt more than saying mean things. Excluding someone because you don’t agree with them is wrong.
Why am I being “nice” to them if they are bullying me? Because I know how it feels, so I don’t want someone else to find out how it feels, even if they are bullies themselves.
My classmates, if they think about why they are being mean to me, I’m sure it would sound dumb to their own ears! But since they have been doing it for so long, they just can’t stop. And that is really sad. I might be getting hurt, but it is they who are becoming bad. I can heal, but I don’t know how easy it will be for them to change.
So, if you are upset at someone with something, talk it over with them. Don’t go right ahead and start being mean because they didn’t follow what you do. It really can ruin people’s lives without you even knowing it. It could really work out, if you just give it a try. And if it doesn’t, just agree to disagree. Being a bully doesn’t solve anything.