Just one act of kindness can make an impact. Join the national movement to Choose Kind, inspired by R.J. Palacio’s debut novel, WONDER.
My story isn’t about me being bullied; it is about me being ashamed of my status as a passive bully in school. I can still remember it clearly…lunch time in middle school. The group I ate with sat at a round table just big enough for us all. I wasn’t actually friends with all the girls…for some reason a really good friend was also friends with Katie. One day Katie decided she was mad at Kara and that we should all make sure there wasn’t a seat for her and not talk to her. I had no idea what was going on and had no desire to treat Kara that way. I KNEW it was WRONG. I FELT HORRIBLE about it. I just wanted to get up and leave. But what did I do? I just sat there, eating my lunch, nervously giggling with the others when Kara came by. There is no doubt she was hurt. Even after it was all said and done, I never apologized or tried to make amends. I made excuses to myself…this was between Katie and Kara…Kara isn’t even my friend…I didn’t say or do anything, I was just eating my lunch….
You know what…excuses never made me feel any better. Still to this day, LONG after the incident, long after they made up and that whole ugly moment was in our past…I STILL think about how I did NOT stand up for Kara all because I was afraid of being turned on next. That is the power of the bully-leader.