One of my most humiliating moments was in middle school. I imagine middle school holds nightmares for most people. We’re awkward, unsure of ourselves, and mean. So mean. I don’t like to think of myself as one of the mean ones, but I had my moments.
One of my lowest was when I got caught passing a note back and forth between a friend. The note contained rude remarks about our substitute teacher. Remarks she was now reading silently to herself and heartbroken over.
I felt terrible. Partly for getting caught but mainly for the things I had written making fun of her. Looking back I can’t believe I’d ever do something like that. But I was young, and pretty selfish and, well… A middle schooler.
Maybe I deserved the hurtful things other kids said about me. Maybe it was karma.
In the middle of one of my classes I was called out to immediately head to the counselor’s office. I didn’t have an appointment so I had no idea what this was about.
When I arrived and sat down, my counselor cut to the case, explaining concerns from other students regarding my eating disorder.
It must have seemed believable because of my build. I was extremely tall, and “blessed” with an extremely fast metabolism. To people who didn’t know me, they may have assumed I didn’t eat, or didn’t keep down what I ate. To my friends, I loved food as much as anyone else. But I was self-conscious about my weight.
As I’ve grown older, wiser and yes, much heavier, I’ve realized that all of the bullies don’t get left behind in middle school. Unfortunately some people keep that judgemental mentality. Whether they’re judging someone else’s’ appearance, lifestyle or actions.
I never want to cause the heartache I caused my teacher in middle school, nor do I want my children to experience the humiliation bullies can cause.
We have frequent discussions and “what if” games about accepting others, and we spend time reading a books about other cultures and countries. I hope my kids grow up to be brave enough to stand up for the people who are picked on or reach out to those sitting alone.
Our differences are what makes the world so a remarkable and beautiful. If we all work together to eliminate the judgments and negative attitudes towards those who are different than us, and influence positivity in our kids, we’ll make great strides in making the world a more beautiful and accepting place.
The Judgement-Free Generation® at Planet Fitness initiative hopes to educate and give back to local communities, committing $1.3 million in grants and donations to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and STOMP Out Bullying to fund this initiative. We are passionate about building a more accepting world and telling children You Belong®”, which is why we partnered with Planet Fitness and their Planet of Triumphs® on this post.