Posts Tagged ‘apology’
I was getting ready to write a scathing post (would have gone viral for sure) about the kinds of kids who dare bully adults. What kinds of parents they must have! The kids of today are out of control!
Then, mid-rant to Kelly about this, I remembered when I was guilty of bullying an adult.
Yes, I, along with many members of my freshman class at an all girls Catholic high school, tormented our religion teacher. We were horrific to her. We made fun of every aspect of her. There were practical jokes. Insulting limmericks. Anything and everything to be mean to her.
It was Mean Girls before there was a Mean Girls. It was so common with some of us that we never even stopped to think about what we were really doing. We were having fun at the expense of another human being and it felt good.
It must have, right? Why else would we have done it?
One thing sticks out so clearly in my mind: when another teacher found something we had done to our religion teacher and she cried. I didn’t understand it then. I was 14 years old and needed to fit in. I needed to be liked. I needed to be cool. I thought she was over-sensitive and walked away without another thought.
Today I get it. Kids have no idea of the permanence of what they say and do. It’s all part of the adolescent egocentrism that consumes them. They are invincible! The world revolves around them! The world is theirs! Everyone’s watching and no one can do anything about their behavior. It’s fun to finally get something over the adults who have ruled their worlds since birth.
As an adult, I recognize the frailty of the human spirit. I know how much remarks made to me throughout my childhood and adolescence from family, friends, and acquaintances have stuck with me long after they were made. I can’t imagine the hurt we caused this woman who only wanted to teach religion to little girls.
Words and actions are weapons. Sure, we are taught that only we can let words hurt us. They aren’t actual weapons, so we can control how we react.
Words are mean, hurtful, and are sometimes more powerful than being attacked with an actual weapon. Words scar. Words damage. Words kill.
Hopefully, words can also heal. Because I offer a heart-felt apology to that religion teacher. I offer an apology to the math teacher who cried over our horridness. I apologize to my fellow-students who knew this was wrong and didn’t know how to stop us.
Most of all, I hope that our words and actions have been forgotten.