To Thine Own Self Be True

16 Aug

orig. published 4/14/11

Most all of us were teased or picked on or bullied as children…such is
life.  Most of the time parents would tell us to just ignore it and it would
stop, usually this was not the case but what ever the circumstances we made it
through, mostly intact and none the worse for the wear.  It seems these days
that we have decided to put an end to bullying and teasing, whatever the cost
may be.

In an ABC new story on Good Morning America, we meet little Samantha Shaw, an
adorable, precocious 7 year old girl whose mother made the decision to allow her
to undergo otoplasty, more commonly known as pinning of the ears.  She is just
one example of the hundreds of people who in recent years have sought to “fix”
rather than face the issues at hand.  In the last ten years plastic surgery has
risen 30% among children in an effort to ward off the school yard bullies.
Who’s idea is it anyways?  When the reporter asks little Samantha about being
teased she plays it down and says that it wasn’t that bad but ask her mother and
she will tell you that it was the adults who were the worst about pointing out
her ears in front of her, commenting.  Children get their cues from their
parents, it seems that Samantha’s mother’s negativity toward her ears seems to
be rubbing off on her little girl.

Bullying is inevitable, its a rite of passage, perhaps the difference between
now and when I was a child is nothing more than a lack of protective parents,
maybe its a lack of guidance from the parents, I can’t imagine that bullying now
is really that much worse than it was when I was a child but one thing is
certain, plastic surgery was not an option.  Perhaps instead of reinforcing to
our children that there is truly something wrong with them we should reiterate
to them how much we love them, just as they are, and that no matter what anyone
says that they are beautiful and perfect.

Sure, I still have some scars from those years that I was picked on but when
it is all said and done, those events, those cruel words made me the person that
I am today, any deviation or avoidance of those events and I would not have
arrived at this point in my life.  Does some bullying cross the line?  Sure, no
question about it, but when children have a solid, supportive and nurturing
parent to turn to, one who’s answer is not to fix what is “wrong” with them but
to guide them to the place where they know that they are perfect as they are and
stand up for their child when other parents and adults choose to turn a blind
eye, someone to tell them that running is not the answer, that character is made
when you stand up and take the high road.  Its not always the popular choice to
make, it certainly won’t necessarily get you into the “in” crowd, but my answer
to that is that in order to be “in” with someone else, you have to be “in” with
yourself first.  As good old Will Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be
true”

Truer words have never been spoken…

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