When I was younger and not as confident, getting laughed at and left out by other kids happened a lot. At the local playground, my sister and I would get teased for how we talked (we had and still have an odd accent), the way we dressed, and how timid we were when it came to more adventurous pursuits.
It wasn’t too bad because I always had my sister, one of the perks of being a twin, and by the time I turned 15, my self confidence had grown to a point where it really didn’t bother me anymore- anyone who takes time out to mock others clearly has too much time on their hands. This was a lesson we drummed into our younger brother, and when his own mean kids came and tried to bully him, we were there to stop it, ensuring that no one picked on him throughout our time in school.
So it broke my heart today to see that my other brother is already having to deal with mean kids. I’ve been looking after him this week, and at the park, he was laughed at when he asked to play. I was ready to go over there and shout at them for being so unkind, until my brother said, “They laughed but it doesn’t bother me, I’m okay,” and with a shrug of his shoulders, he found another group to play with.
I was so proud of him; only 7 years old and he’s already at a point that took me 15 years to get to. Wherever you go, there will always be people who aren’t very nice, but if we teach children from a young age that it’s okay to be themselves, that they shouldn’t let words get to them, and most importantly, to not ridicule anyone for being different, maybe future generations will be less mean.