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Monday, October 15, 2007

Sticks and Stones

As a kid I can remember being bullied. It made me feel bad and there were times when I had to hold back tears least the bullies see and call me a crybaby. However, I endured, persevered…strengthened even. This was the era of Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me and Takes one to know one and who from my generation could forget I’m rubber you’re glue; what bounces off me sticks to you?

Oh, those phrases, my saving grace at times. I used them like a security blanket and they helped me feel a little better. I flung those sayings at the bullies like balls from a canon to give myself a sense of power, no matter how false or fleeting it may have been. I used those snappy little clich├ęs to try and prove I wasn’t affected by the cruel, harsh words hurled my way, but inside I was angry, embarrassed, dejected and humiliated.

In spite of the cruelness of childhood and the callousness of some children, I prevailed and I believe I grew stronger each and every time someone picked on me. As an adult I don’t get offended at remarks directed at or about me or heard through the numerous media avenues. I walk tall and proud among my peers. My posture is flawless today, having perfected it years ago as a defense mechanism. I don't have to be reminded to hold my head high, my chin up and my shoulders back-- it's quite automatic. When I walk into a room people turn and take notice because my presence demands attention. I'm not stuck up nor do I think I'm better than anyone else. I just know my own self-worth and it's not determined by what people say. It’s not assessed by the color of my skin, my nationality or religion, where I shop, the clothing labels I wear, the square footage of my home, the transportation I use or the balance in my checkbook. One’s sense of worth is determined by one’s inner strength and character. And mine was built years ago when I chose not to let someone’s words define who and what I am.

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