Occasionally I am called to help out at the school where my children attend as a cafeteria sub. If someone needs time off, then I am called. I go willingly. Working around children you begin to observe things. Over the different times I have worked at the school I have occasionally noticed one of the kids being intentionally mean to another. They tease. They torment. They bully. The victim is left angry and crying while their tormentors laugh and continue their taunts and teasing. I have seen my co-workers ignore this behavior and literally walk the other way. They refuse to get involved.
I have found that I simply can’t walk away. I can’t leave it alone. I can’t simply allow the bullies to win. Instead I march right over there and put a stop to it…always. My co-workers generally look on in amazement. I have been the teased, tormented victim and I know what that feels like. Every single child deserves an education, deserves to be happy, and not ridiculed for things they can do nothing about. In my humble opinion everyone is a child of God and deserves compassion. So when I see a little kid growing angry crying frustrated tears as their tormentor teases and taunts I step right in and put a stop to it whether it is my place or not. The other day I marched right over to the bully and asked him if he would like to have lunch with the principal and explain to him why exactly he couldn’t seem to stop tormenting another even when asked repeatedly to stop and why he couldn’t simply turn around and eat his lunch. He looked at me in horror and assured me that he didn’t want to go to the principal or explain his behavior. I told him to turn around and eat. If he so much as looked cross eyed at that kid again I would march him right to the principal’s office. Then I comforted the upset child. I told him to dry his eyes and to never let the other kids see his tears because that would make the teasing worse. If he didn't react it wouldn't be fun for his tormentors any more. His tears were wasted on the likes of people like that. They simply were not worth it! I hugged him and in doing so remembered all the times when I was little when I would have given anything for someone, anyone to care enough to put a stop to the abuse and be my advocate.
I have dried more than one tear in the line of duty and in doing so earned the trust and the devotion of another new little friend. It amazes me constantly how far a smile will go, what a little compassion will do, and how much difference a bit of kindness makes. I simply don’t understand why people have to be so cruel, and why everyone just can’t be happy and get along. Believe me, seeing a child’s face light up when they see me and the warm hugs I receive are all the reward I will ever need. Spread a little love instead of indifference.