Thinking back, I was bullied a few times in my life, but the first time was in the 6th grade. I was in a new school and I didn’t know many kids. One day, my desk mate was being bullied for using a wire hair brush that the bullies said looked like a dog brush. The head bully barked insults at my friend, and pretended to come at her, threatening her physically.

I couldn’t take it any longer and I stepped in – something I would do many times in my life when others were being bullied. I told him to stop. He did and then turned his aggression on me. I got it worse, because the head bully’s authority was challenged, and he was going to make me pay for making him look bad in front of his posy.

He told me in a loud voice and in front of his bullies in training to meet him behind the gym after school: he was going to “beat me up”. The gym was isolated, and no one was around after school, so I wasn’t excited about our “meeting”.

I spent the rest of the school day contemplating my options. 1 – I could go straight home, and take a chance he would forget about me. 2 – I could go to the school authorities who would undoubtedly stop him, but at what cost? His bullying could escalate. 3 – I could tell my mom, which is always a wise decision. I knew she would take care of the situation. But again, at what cost? I couldn’t drag my mommy with me everywhere. 4 – I could show up after school and stand up for my rights as a human being, and possibly end it for good, or end up with a bloody nose and a black eye.

I chose # 4. I reluctantly showed up outside the gym and waited, and waited, and waited, and then I took off not wanting to look at gift horse in the mouth. My bully was a no-show! I was perplexed, but thrilled. I liked my nose where it was, and my eyes in their sockets.

I saw my bully many times after that, and he never looked my way, nor did he come after my friend or her dog brush. I do not remember if he bullied other kids. He was smart enough not to do so in front of me.

I learned a valuable lesson that day . . . to never let another stomp on me. Not for any reason, not in any way. It may be scary and even painful to do what is right, but that is the cost of freedom. To stand up when no on else will, and say what others cannot or will not.

I am not suggesting that everyone being bullied do what I did. I chose to take it head on rather than be tormented and abused in my future moments. I took a chance that he might hit me and fulfill his promise of beating me up. Looking back, that was my only option.

I realize that many kids and adults being bullied are beaten up even when they stand up for themselves. Some people have even lost their life to their tormentors. I was blessed with more than my share of confidence, likability, and a strong body that few are stupid enough to challenge. It was my friend he bullied.

There would be many times in my future that I would stand up for another, and interfere with a bully’s plan of domination. I carefully step in every time I see the egregious crime of bullying being done. I cannot sit by and watch – it boils my blood, then suddenly my mouth is moving and words are spoken, and then the bully’s attention is on me.

Live boldly, and do what you know is right. Stand up for your rights as a human being to live free and in peace. Stand up for another’s right, too. Being guilty of a passive crime is a crime all the same. A passive crime is when you look the other way or walk on by when you see a crime of aggression being committed.

At least call 911! Do not put your own life in danger, but for goodness sakes, do something!

If we all stood up for what is right, then the bully’s purposely doing harm would have a difficult time finding someone to bully. Others watching would stop them, and soon their bullying ways would go the way of the Doo-Doo-bird.