The Other End

January 26, 2013
I used to be the bully. I mocked her, and told her she wasn't good enough. I explained at recess she couldn't be in our group of friends anymore because she was being rude and didn't deserve to be.
That meant she was stripped of all privileges to sit with us at lunch, play hop-scotch with us at recess, or be in our reading groups during English Hour.
The thing was, I was only in fifth grade. I didn't understand how much it hurt her then. She went on to develop a disease where she pulls out her eyelashes when she gets nervous.
She blames me.
I have repented, I have changed. I have worked with many young children to spread the word of kindness and beg them to be better people. I never criticize anymore. I never mock. I never allow myself to exclude others, even those whom bring me slight pain.
I do this because in return I was bullied. A few years later, my freshman year, she came forward to the elementary schools to tell of her story. She explained in exaggerated detail how awful I had been, and called me by name. Suddenly I had become the worst person in our small town, and everyone wanted away.
People flocked into corners of hallways I walked down, and conversations suddenly stopped at my approach. It went on for weeks.
No one wanted to be my English partner, no one wanted to sit with me at lunch. If I had been so cruel before, they didn't understand why I had any reason not to be cruel now.
Before my own exile, I had discovered my mistake. I had apologized to the girl, and changed all my ways. In Jr. High and again in High School, I recreated myself into a better and better person. Of course I still have faults, but I can say with humble humility I am a better person.
Be cautious in pointing blame, and remember people have the ability to grow up and change.

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