After reading this thread I am taken back to my grade school years and high school years. I was horribly teased. I had a couple of friends, but most days I'd come home from school and cry because of the teasing. Many times I thought of violence as the answer... killing them and myself. I just wanted it to stop and I didn't know how else to make it stop. But all I did was think about such things.
Because of how I was treated in school, I learned many things. I learned that othe people's opinion of myself doesn't really matter. If I am being true to myself, then to hell with everyone else. I learned compassion. I treat people with kindness and a certain amount of respect because I learned how much it hurts to be shunned. I've learned to keep my ego in check. I celebrate my accomplishments, but not to the point that I forget my true self. Facing those struggles everyday in school laid the foundation for my inner strength and determination to grow. Now, twenty years later, is when I am seeing the benefits of that. Had I not had the childhood/young adult hood that I did, I would not have been able to deal with personal events that have happened over the last three years. It takes courage to live. That's the most universal thing that everyone can learn through any hardship, any suffering that crosses their path. Courage. Courage to keep trying. Courage to be the person they were meant to be.
This Saturday I am speaking to a group of young adults about this very topic. A group of kids that seem to have given up on themselves. A group of kids that think this is the best there is and that they have no power to make a difference. Because of my path in life, maybe I can change their mind. Maybe I can give them hope.
I've made a difference in the lives of my two children. I can understand their pain when they are teased. They know of the current struggles we as a family face, but because I keep trying, so do they. They are learning, by watching me, how to find solutions, how to keep trying, even when things seem hopeless. How do I know? Because they tell me, and I see it in the choices they make.
How would our lives be different if our "inspirations" had ended their life when the going got tough?