Some of my peers would even exaggerate my situation to the point they would see me as a hoodlum.
Perhaps they weren’t so wrong after all, because if, in the cafeteria, I’d like to sit somewhere already taken, I would walk directly to the guy sitting there and say, “Hey, get up, the place is mine!”
And he would leave the place, because of the scary aura I created knowingly.
My reason was simple actually: I was bullied around, beaten and mocked for years that bully boys had showed me I had two options; either I would stay as the bullied one, or I would smash their faces, so they would know they should leave me alone. And I had chosen the second one.
I was a modern age Conan now. Well, ½ Conan they would call me, or Miniature Hercules!
Behind our academy building it was seaside, and people often would fish there.
However, they would leave their broken fishing hooks around, and sometimes cats or kittens would get hurt.
Once I found a little kitten that was hurt by such a hook. It had stuck to the little lady’s cheek, and it required a small operation to take it out. So I took the kitten with me to take her to the academy’s infirmary.
While I was passing through the cafeteria, a girl screamed loudly and walked towards me with a challenging manner. I never hit a female in my life, and it’s a matter of honor for me. So I wouldn’t hit her, either. But of course, due to her own prejudice, she didn’t know it.
She called me “monster” and asked me what I would do with the kitten. I was offended, and refused to tell her that I was taking the kitten to the infirmary. Instead, I told her that I would fry and eat the little baby.
I did that, because I wanted to keep my “monster” aura since it was my protection against bullies. I preferred to stay away from my peers, and most people around.
I didn’t care if she believed or not. I walked past by her, and took the kitten to the infirmary. It was easy to save her with the help of school’s doctor.
Just before leaving his office, doctor told me that there was still hope for the kitten… and me.
He was right, because I wasn’t a bully one. I was a tough guy. There’s a difference between these two. Even now, whenever I look at such young people bullying others, I can’t help but wonder what they would do if they were dropped in a battleground in some ancient era, with swords in hand, chopped arms and legs flying everywhere. I don’t think they would be so brave then. As a matter of fact, I bet these would be the first ones to run for cover, because they’re innate cowards! They are cocky only until they meet someone at their size.
Well, from the experience, I know that’s NOT the case at all.
First of all, I believe all the kids should read comics especially during their adolescence.
Don’t worry, it won’t change them, it will just help them to be themselves more.
I have to remind you who showed me the way out were two comic heroes: Spiderman and Conan.
Spiderman or Peter Parker taught me that being a hero is not about powers, but about qualities like generosity, bravery, tolerance, etc.
Conan taught me about the importance of not giving up anyhow, developing your strength, and – yeah – being a dreamer, and visionary.
No, adventure movies, or violent stories won’t affect your children negatively, as long as you are careful about their message. Most of you can’t deny the fact that comic heroes emphasize the best humanist qualities, even the “barbarian” ones like Conan.
The greatest threat is not violence, but the prejudice and images based on it.
During my years at academy of fine arts, I was known as a bullying guy. Actually I was a bullying guy for a very short while, but later on, I was actually a tough guy.
First of all, I wasn’t bullying anyone around, because there wasn’t anything I wanted from them. But I wanted them to leave me alone, and I was practicing body building, martial arts, reading personal development materials and classical literature, because I wanted to be strong both mentally and physically to ensure I wouldn’t be victimized by the bullies again. (Well, I had other reasons, too, and you will read it all in my coming book Dream Tiger.)
My behavior had created an image of me as a modern age barbarian, which was I wanted exactly. Why? Because people are afraid of what they don’t know, and they mostly leave it alone.
Years later, when I was back into normal and civilized world once again, I was teaching English at a private course for a while, just before I began to my career as a book translator. I had a teen student who reminded me my past. In the eyes of his classmates, he was a bully, or problem guy. But actually he was overly sensitive, and he was hiding it behind a tough mask.
I could have written him off as a problem kid easily, too. But I understood him, because I was at the same place myself once.
For both the bullies, and their victims… the key is a little understanding, compassion, encouragement, and guidance.
As I said before, other than some exceptions, they are not bad at all; they are just… ignorant about life, and emotions of others.
We should guide them to good, and if we don’t do that effectively, we can’t blame them for being bullies.
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