By Sophie Winik, Regular ContributorSeptember 27, 2015
“Being kind to someone is one of the easiest things to do, even if that person may not have been so kind to you. The act of kindness in itself is never wasted. If by chance it has no effect on the person intended, at the very least it shows your character. Be proud of that.” ~Gabrielle Prichard.
There are times in life when we don’t want to be kind to a person who was unkind to us. We get sucked into the childish mindset of “they were mean to me first, so why should I be nice to them?” The question becomes, though, do you want others' behaviors to change who you are and who you've worked hard to be?
You have the power to be kind to another person. You have a choice whether to be mean back or to change your negativity into a positive outcome.
When I was a little girl, another girl in school teased me. She pretended to be my friend but would constantly pinch me over and over, to the point where I had red marks on my arms. She made me upset. She didn’t accept me for the child I was, quiet and shy. She made me mad and confused, and I wanted to pinch her back so she could see how it felt to be bullied by another person. I didn’t. I didn’t succumb to her attitudes. I didn’t take my anger out on her. I treated her with kindness. I treated her how I wished she would have treated me. She didn’t change. My kindness had no effect on her, and as I grew older I accepted that. I accepted that my kindness would not reach her. I accepted that some people continue to treat people their own way. I accepted that she would not change.
image via blairwortsmith.wordpress.com
A few years later it was clear: I saw this girl again, looking exactly the same and, unfortunately, treating me the same. My kindness did not and would not reach her soul. She was going to be whom she wanted.,but what she didn’t know was that I was not going to let her bully me any longer. It’s important to take your power back, to not let someone string you along or take advantage of you.
I was done with having this girl bully me. I was done with waiting for her to change. I was done.
That was the last time I saw this bully. Sometimes I wonder whether my kindness had any effect on her at all. I wonder what kind of person she grew up to be. I wonder how she treats others. I wonder who she is now. Although this was a person that treated me horribly, this is also a person that helped me realize a valuable lesson: be kind to others no matter how awful they may treat you. Why scream when you can smile? Why hit when you can wave? Why call someone bad names when you can boost their confidence? Why bully when you can have new friends? Why not be kind when you can make a difference?
Have you ever had a hard time being nice to someone? How did you handle the situation? What was the result? Tell us below!
Sophie is a preschool teacher in Southern California. When she is not teaching the little ones she is writing stories about her experiences with bullying, with the hope that her words will help others stand up against bullying and be another voice to end the hate. Sophie is also an artist who loves to paint and draw and is studying to be an art therapist, specifically working with children. Check out her anti-bullying stories atkindrevolutioncampaign.wordpress.com.
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