|Damian at twelve reflecting and Leyla posing|
They can come in so many forms; a reminder to smell the roses by seeing the exquisite joy on the face of my daughter as a four year old as she put her hand in a fountain or the realization of the vast human potential as my teenager considers his path.
My middle son’s lessons often come through his poetry which can simply express deep concepts. When he was twelve, he shared a poem he wrote against bullying (and gave me permission to publish).
What struck me was he captured not only the pain of the bullied but also the pain of the bully. Treating others in that way is a sign of something else amiss inside – feelings of worthlessness or unresolved hurt and anger. It can happen in a school as well as in workplace or even in a home.
By understanding the why behind what we do and bringing it out in the open, rather than burying it, we all have the chance to take away its power and make a positive change.
Asking for helping or finding someone to listen can be a key first step to break a destructive pattern. Every day is a new opportunity to make a different decision; adults as well as children.
But to do so, we have to take the message seriously as the last line implores.
I don’t know why I cry
In the darkness, without light
Is it because the demons inside
Or the ones at school
I don’t get why they break the rules
Why do these people
Pick on kids weak or
Keep their identities unknown
But know their cowardice does grow
You were not this way at birth
Know that you are of a worth
You may think you aren’t
But know that you are.
You are not just par
You are a birdie, you’re an eagle
Fly high like a seagull
Swoop down, change your plans
Be good, be a man
There is nothing bad
Within in your body
But there is a poison hidden
The more bad you do, it quickens
We must rid us of this evil curse
Before it can get any worse
For those people giving hurt
Know that you are being heard
Don’t be physical to express your words
Don’t have dark secrets unshared
There are people who care
Find one and share your problems
Then you may start to wobble
And then you burst into tears
But know that person still can hear
And know that you are getting thru
No longer does your anger brood
And to those people receiving pain
Know that the bully can explain
Problems with his life
But tell someone of your strife
Don’t just sit alone, a stray
Please don’t play that silent game
All alone, no one there
But like the bullies, people care
You need help with this curse
It has been afflicted on you
But if you tell, it will be released soon
This has to do with everyone
And please don’t take this poem for fun
By Damian Angelidis
A version of this post previously published at my blog on Working Mother.