Thursday, January 5, 2012
New Year's resolve... melted?
I started a list of New Year's resolutions, to be published here or on the other blog, but partway through it struck me as sounding insufferably pretentious (e.g. "speak up against unfairness whenever I see it"). So I think I'll just continue quietly on my way and do the things I think I should do without public fanfare.
Two things I thought were unfair late last year, but I'll only write about one.
While cutting through the grounds of the high school nearby, I saw a kid being bullied. Apparently. I think. It might have been roughhousing or horseplay (funny old terms, those), but it sure looked like your typical bullying, especially since the larger kid was holding the smaller one upside down by his ankles. It was almost comical; cartoonish, even. But it didn't sound very funny, so I slowed down... wayyyyy down, as I approached them, my face deliberately blank (I think) and my eyes very much fixed on the bigger kid and his friends who were observing this picture of hilarity. They stopped and asked if I was a teacher. "Aha!" I thought. "Maybe," I replied. I could see just enough doubt in their faces that they figured it might be prudent to stop hassling the smaller boy. As I walked past them, they started horsing around again, so I turned and walked backward, away from them. All it meant was "I'm still watching you" and they sort of slunk out of sight, around a corner.
Bullying. So much in the news, isn't it? My son went through it for years. I would cheerfully have punched the lights out of the kids who did it. But he survived, and some don't, which just tears my heart out whenever I read about it in the news.
This time around, I'm sure I only had a temporary effect on the situation. But I thought it important to at least let those kids know that somebody had noticed, that somebody was watching. My gut told me this wasn't just fun and games...