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Take The Risk

Posted: 5/23/2011

I was bullied in high school for being smart. I was lucky - I had a teacher and a guidance counselor looking out for me. But that doen't make the hallways and bathrooms and stairs any safer. My life was threatened and my real friends made it a point to walk me from class to class for weeks. I learned a lot - I wasn't as alone as I thought. I worked on developing relationships with kids who liked what I liked and we looked out for each other.

Like many adults, 8 or so years after graduation I ran into my old nemesis. He told me he was now married to the mother of his four kids and they were struggling. With lttle real education it was hard to make ends meet. He asked what I did and I told him - I fly satellites and rockets.

Then he dropped his head an quietly apologized for his bullying. He said he couldn't wrap his head around why I was so smart and why I studied. He thought I was a suck-up. he said he knew now what I knew then, that being good at something is worth the effort. Hetold me he should have respected me. I've had a great time since then. I learned not to be silent, to take the risk to defend those who are catching it for no reason. If there were no bystanders, there would be no bullies.

By: Marie

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