Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pride & Joy

It seems there is a lot of media out there lately about bullying.  I find it heartbreaking that there are children out there bullied so heavily that it leads them to suicide.  Because they are different, they're harassed, made fun of, or sometimes even worse, ignored.  When I think of a bully my mind immediately goes to school age kids but the sad truth is that adults do it too.  This world is hard and no matter your age, there are constant messages out there that you aren't good enough...skinny enough.

Being kind to everyone is one of the biggest life lessons Tim and I have tried to teach our boys.  We wanted to raise them to always be nice to others, both knowing how it feels to be on the receiving end of a bully.  Whenever we've had the opportunity, we've stressed how they should take up for the little guy or not join the crowd when laughing at someone.  In most cases, we've tried to teach them to not be the majority.  It's easy to make fun of someone in a group, much easier than being the only one who stands up for them.

Most of the time, you wonder if those lessons really ever sink in.  In complete joy I can say that I know without a doubt it sunk in with Austin.  I'm blessed to have a beautiful wrapped present filled with letters from students he went to school with.  Each letter was written by kids at the high school, some of which he was very close with and some he barely knew.  What amazed and touched me was that no matter how strong their relationship was, every one of them had a positive comment to make about him and how he treated them.  This gift has brought us such happiness and we treasure each word.  You can read that story on the blog I've kept in Austin's memory at "Love Letters" .

Today, I learned again that it's sticking with Noah too.  I've really never doubted it as his sweetness is obvious, and in all the right ways he takes after his big brother.  We watched Glee this afternoon, since he finished all his homework at school, and the subject was on bullying.  I intended to use the show as a springboard to discuss the topic with him but I found him talking with me.  While I don't have a box of love letters sharing stories about how Noah has helped others, I can only imagine they are out there.  And I imagine his box will be filled to capacity by the time he is grown.  Nothing would make me happier or more proud.

"Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it."
- Proverbs 22:6


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