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The Shawnee News-Star
  • A bully never wins

  • Like many children, at 12-years-old I was very impressionable. I most likely questioned many things, but right this second I can’t recall any of them.
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  • Like many children, at 12-years-old I was very impressionable. I most likely questioned many things, but right this second I can’t recall any of them.
     
     
    I also remember the neighborhood bully. All the kids were afraid unless, of course, they joined him on his rampage to control my most important geographical zone. The importance of this chunk of land didn’t come from its market value. The importance entirely derived from the fact that I had to navigate my way through it nearly every weekday to and from school unless, of course, I could convince my mother that I was far too sick that day. (I think she was a little impressionable herself by my “award worthy” performances and displays of my natural ability to act.)
     
     
    Even though he probably doesn’t know it, someone that impressed me greatly, especially at that age, was my dad.
     
     
    I know now looking back that dad dealt greatly with his own set of issues, but it didn’t deter him from impressing upon me very valuable lessons at a time when I needed it most.
     
     
    From what I hear bullying is worse now than it was back then, but that certainly didn’t matter to me those years ago. This bully was my worst nightmare. Once he figured that out there was no stopping him. He had his fun at school, after school, and even on weekends.
     
     
    That’s when my dad stepped in. He didn’t confront the bully or even his parents. He did what I feel made a major difference in my life even today. He pulled me aside and taught me how to stand up for myself and I did. It worked then and many times after.
     
     
    I’ll never forget that.
     
     
    I will also never forget that bully’s name. If I ever run into him again he better watch out. I have a hand shake and a laugh waiting for him.
     
     
    James Bridges is the advertising director for the Shawnee News-Star.
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