A Trail of Embarrassment

May 25, 2009
By Bilal Askar BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
Bilal Askar BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Embarrassment is what people worry most of. People are very concerned of how they're perceived. I would say its like a form of fear. Embarrassment can most likely lead to bad or harmful choices. In Tim O' Brien's case, he was embarrassed of what he would be thought of if he hadn't had gone to war. I share a similar story of embarrassment.

In my days as an elementary school student, I was bullied and made fun of. It would happen every single day and I never understood why. I was embarrassed and at one time didn't even want to go to school. I felt as if I had tried to do something, I would've been thought of as a weak person or a baby who couldn't handle himself.

I didn't know if turning in these bullies would either consider me courageous or a coward who “tattle tales.” This is the same as the situation in Tim O' Brien's chapter “On The Rainy River.” Tim O' Brien was stuck between the choice of fleeing to Canada and avoiding his draft to war or staying and go to war. He was embarrassed of having to flee to Canada so he stayed.

I couldn't bare to take the humiliation anymore. I mentioned it to a good friend of mine just to feel a little relieved. He told me that if I don't do something, it won't get any better. I told him that if I did something, I would be thought of as a coward and humiliated even more. He encouraged me that I wouldn't be thought of like that. He even mentioned that I would be considered brave if I had stood up to them.

I one day took my friends advice. I did something I would consider quite brave, I talked to the bullies of why they harassed me. After confronting with them and having a long discussion of what they have actually been doing to me, they apologized and haven't realized that their actions caused such harm. The irony of it all was that each of the bullies did it because they were embarrassed not to. They were concerned of how they would be thought of by the others if they hadn't done it as well. I thought of it as a trail of embarrassment. We all later learned that the right thing should always come over the fear of embarrassment.

After this incident, one of the bullies and I eventually became friends. He regrets what he has done, but I've forgiven him and actually thanked him somewhat. Because if this had never happened I wouldn't have learned to come over my embarrassment and most of all we wouldn't have become friends. The lesson we learned was that embarrassment is normal, but you should prevent it from making you choose wrong decisions.

The author's comments:
It is a narritive essay in response to The Things They Carried

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