With all the press about Mitt having perhaps bullied someone in high school, I started thinking about my own high school years. I was a “group bully”. Of course, we never thought of ourselves as bullies….bullies were guys who would beat up on weaker guys not a group of girls terrorizing other girls. We never hit anyone but I’m pretty sure we “bumped” into some girls pretty hard. And what was their crime? One girl liked someone that one of our group liked, a couple of girls had the audacity to be smart, some girls were shy, some were more boyish than us or heavier, or whatever. If you were different, you would be a target.
The really rotten thing was that I liked most of the girls I was mean to. One on one, I was nice. But get me into that “hen pecking” group and I just as bad as the rest of them. I think fear of becoming a victim instead of a instigator drove many of us to follow our fearless leader. She had a way about her that you knew if you crossed her, you would be next in the pecking order. We didn’t stop at girls, either. We were the bane of many a teacher and quite a few of our male classmates. I would guess there are quite a few people that would tell you we made their high school years very unhappy.
I would like to publicly apologize to each and every person who I was ever mean to. I wish I could sit down, face to face, with them and tell them how truly sorry I am for making their lives so awful. I wish I had had the courage to stop us. But I was a coward. And I will always be disappointed in myself that I was. If anyone who is reading this was hurt by me, please contact me so I can tell you personally how sorry I am. And if you were a victim of a bully, I would hope that the person who was mean to you has grown up and become a more decent person and may be wishing that they could find you to tell you how sorry they are. I think it would be good for both parties if the victims were to write to the bully and tell them how it felt. If nothing else, at least the victims would get a chance to unload that burden on the person who caused it. Even if it has to be done anonymously. The bullies need to know the damage that they did even if it was 40 years ago.
My heart goes out to all the kids who are being bullied in today’s society. I can not imagine how awful that must be. I wish I had the answer to the problem. I wish I had never been the problem.