Is everyone doing well? I hope you’ve blogged to your hearts content and your readers are enjoying what they are reading.

Once again let’s hit the ground running. This one is a good one. Even if I do say so myself. In fact, this was not a national issue when I wrote the chapter about the little fat kid with glasses, Spencer, getting harassed at school. It wasn’t until I was finishing up the last half of the story was their any instances of bullying at school hitting national attention. I’ll get things started by giving you two maybe three examples of bullying when I was a kid. Of course, that’s on one condition. That you guys give me some examples of bullying or being the bully. I’m not going to be the only schmuck bearing my soul. Tell me how you felt when you were being bullied or how you felt when you were the one being the bully. How it affected your life and what, if anything, you feel about it today. I think people realize now, through national attention, this sort of thing has life long effects. But like in the story, and real life, it’s how you handle it that will determine your future.   

To start, I’m not proud of this but I feel I must be the first one to admit it so maybe others will join in. In this first story I’m the bully, I’m the bad guy. I was in grade school although I don’t remember how old I was. There was this kid up the street, Greg, no last names, and he was a big kid for his age and I was little for mine. Anyway, for some odd reason I got a big kick out of taunting this kid so I could hear him whine and tell me he was going to tell his “father”. He was very formal and intelligent and never used the word dad. And maybe that was the catch. Maybe I was trying to make him mad enough to say something that sounded normal and not so smart all the time, bring him down to my level. I’m just guessing. I don’t really remember. This went on for some time, me calling him names and him running home yelling “Father, father.” Well, I guess ‘father’ was teaching this kid to box after each taunting session. So the next time I started my stuff he proceeded to hit me right in the head. I, of course, ran home crying. Ok, keep the cheering down I feel bad enough as it is. That ended the bullying. Why. Because it wasn’t as much fun when he fought back. Somehow it took the glamour out of it and it was then I decided it probably wasn’t the right thing to do.

Ready for story number two. 

This one I like a little better. Remember, not always, but bullies seem to work in pairs. They give strength and courage to each other and end up fueling each others fire. That’s why it seems to escalate and doesn’t stop. In this instance it was the Gorman brothers. They lived on the block behind me and down at the end of their street. They were notorious for causing trouble not only in their neighborhood but at school and I believe they were a little older than I was. These were students teachers hated. Cat calls from back of the classroom, flunking all their subjects, and beating up kids for no reason. They usually stayed in their own neighborhood but for some reason they decided on this day to visit mine. Tom lived across the street, a few houses up, and we played together all the time. We were goofing around in his driveway when, here they come, the terrors of the universe, came sauntering up to both of us. I don’t remember exactly what they said, I just remember the fear and humiliation that I felt. I remember them threatening us and flipping the end of my nose then laughing. It was like powerless mice taunted by lions that could gobble us up in a second. You just didn’t know when they were going to pounce and praying that they didn’t. God must have been looking down on me that day because they quickly became bored and walked away while calling us names. I never forgot that day and decided I couldn’t live with that kind of fear. Are they coming back? Are they going to see me at school and continue the terror there? Are they going to hit me next time. I mean really beat me up. I was the kind of kid, and still am, that if I don’t like something, can’t accept the situation, I seek to change it. Sooo, one day I was in class, I think sixth grade, when I was handed the weekly reader. It was a monthly publication that the teacher handed out that had all kinds of cool articles in it. Well, this particular issue had an article in it about Judo, that it was a sport in the olympics and a martial art that could also be used for self-defense if you wanted to. Wow, boy did I want to. How did the right thing come along at the right time. There is only one answer–because it was suppose to. It even had the name of the United States Judo Association‘s director and an address where you could write him. I remember going home, carefully composing a letter, mailing it, then waiting on pins and needles.

Life is funny, isn’t it? It was like fate or destiny told the Gorman brothers they had done their jobs, that they had completed their mission because they never bothered me again. Although there is a little bit of a twist or irony here. As we grew up, the Gorman brothers dropped their bully act and because I was a little bit of a party guy I would see them around occasionally. One evening I threw a party at my house and guess who shows up. You got it. The Gorman brothers. I guess one of my friends invited them. Anyway, I was always so proud of my trophies and had them displayed in a case at the top of the stairway that led to the bathroom. A little later on during the party I spot two guys going upstairs heading for the bathroom. I watched as they stop, look them over and then make comments like, “Look at all these trophies!” and “I didn’t know Pierson knew this stuff.” Guess who it was. That’s right. The Gorman brothers. They stood there for quite a while looking at them and I was tempted but never told them I had them to thank.

I went on to many more Judo tournaments including nationals and even the U.S. Open which is international. I didn’t place in that particular tournament but it was cool getting my butt kicked by the best.

What did I learn from the two examples. One, don’t be a bully or you might get knocked in the head. Two, destiny has a way of corralling you into the thing you are supposed to do. 

Now, what are some of your example. Don’t make me come looking for you. Just kidding.

Catch you on the down swing because there is only one way to go from there—up.

Lee Pierson