My friend’s son, Hayden, had a rough first day of school. Some kid in his class—who looks like a sophomore linebacker—gave nine-year-old Hayden a bloody lip then busted his cellphone on the pavement. To say Hayden was sad, would’ve been a gross understatement.
I’ve seen happier faces on abandoned puppies.
Listen up, Hayden. I don’t know much, but I know a few things about bullies. Though we shouldn’t call them that—it’s politically incorrect. Today, we refer to these aggressive individuals as miserable little pricks. And I want you to know something: these people can not beat you.
While I have your attention, I’m going to tell you the most crucial thing any nine-year-old needs to know: buy health insurance—when you’re older. And: don’t ever play craps in Biloxi on a cold table. But also, what I said earlier: hateful people can’t beat you.
They might talk about you, or say horrid things. They can belittle, degrade, and when they’re finished, celebrate with ice cream. They’ll exclude you, call your mama ugly, visit Disney World without you, tee-tee on your tires, steal what’s yours, demote you, hog the limelight, and even fire you.
They will fight you. And I wish I could say you’ll tackle them, but most times you won’t. They’re bigger than you, stronger, nicer-looking, and some of them have trust-funds. They’ll take home trophies, get the girls, and land their own reality series on TLC. But they won’t beat you.
Your power comes from knowing what you are. For example: a fish doesn’t try to play football—at least not in the SEC—because he realizes what he is. Likewise, a barn owl doesn’t audition for Dancing With The Stars. A racehorse doesn’t compete in Junior Miss.
The trick is understanding this schnoz-whistle isn’t your enemy. He’s actually your brother in disguise.
Don’t believe me? Close your eyes and imagine this big, overgrown, hairy, slightly primate-looking kid in the emergency room—feeding tubes coming out of his body. He’s dying.
Now: imagine he asks for a glass of water. What do you do, Hayden? I’ll tell you what you do, you give him water. Because as it happens, this tortured soul is not—nor has he ever been—your adversary. He’s your fellow man.
And even though this joker has tried to make your life living hell. Even though he’s about as pleasant as a outhouse rat’s bare ass. Even though he hurt you and made you bleed.
He can not beat you, Hayden.
He can’t, and he won’t.
Remember about the health insurance.