Today I had planned on writing about our inner child and how to get in touch with him or her, however I was reminded by my daughter Sierra about a writing assignment she had to do for her English Class. I could see how much it meant to her and frankly I am very proud of who she is becoming and her level of depth; a beautiful soul inside and out. What I am going to post here is a copy of her writing submitted a few months ago, being only 14 years old. Her essay reminded me we are never too young or too old to make a change in this world. It also reminded me how important it is to keep in mind how much our children watch us and look up to us for guidance and support while they discover who they are. I hope you open your hearts as you read her essay which I believe many of you will understand and find value in it. I am very proud and humble at the same time to share this with all of you.
“I was asked to pick someone who I admire. My task was to learn more about that person, to spend time with that person while at work, and to write something inspired by that person for our debate class. The person I chose was my mother Sofia Falcone. I got an A in my class for this project. I am proud of my project, not because of my grade but because of what it means to me and want to share it with you. Thank you to my mom and my step dad for inspiring me”.
For 2 days I have worked side by side with my mother. She is a blogger currently working on two books, counsels people and gives speeches. I chose to shadow my mom because my mom is a unique woman. She not only takes care of me, my sisters and my step dad but she works very hard on herself and on helping others. My mom is someone I look up to, sometimes we can drive each other crazy but I know she is someone I can count on to be there for me but also to guide and correct me when I’m wrong. My mother is a very unique lady, she is very strong yet sensitive. She has not let her traumas rule her life, instead of cowering she stands up for herself and for those who really need help. My mother is probably one of the smartest people I have ever met with an IQ of 146 on her Mensa exam, but that is not why I chose her to be the person I work shadow for 2 days, although it doesn’t hurt to have a super smart mother to help you. It’s like having a world library at your fingertips. I chose her for all the other things people don’t know about her. She lives with DID, something most people don’t understand or even know about. It’s a condition usually developed when someone has been abused over and over again for various periods of time, so much so their mind splits, yet unlike other disorders and despite the lies tv sells about it, people with DID are loving and will do anything to fight back to reclaim their life. My mother survived mental and physical abuse, neglect, the loss of her two best friends at a very young age : One died unexpectedly, the other was killed at a terrorist attack and my mother being a child herself witnessed the massacre committed. Imagine being a child afraid for your life, and then having to see all you knew gone, your best friend dead, watching parents bury their children, blood everywhere. Most people would hate this world or coward from it but my mother lives to protect it. She isn’t perfect but I believe most of her mistakes were because she refused to have others determine how her life should be. For too long she had no voice, once she found it and was able to stand up for herself she became reluctant to let anyone decide how she should live her life. She has also done all she could to provide for me and my sisters and for that I am thankful. For a while my mom was a single mom and refused to take from her family or from my dad. There were days mom was so exhausted from work and her own assignments, plus raisings us without external help. Looking back, I don’t know how she did it all and still managed to find time to play with me and my sisters. From my mother, my sisters and I have learned not to take from others but to work for what you have. My mother entered a marriage young and that marriage ended while I was in elementary school. It isn’t easy to deal with parent’s getting a divorce, but my sisters and I have been raised to learn to respect the right every person has to be happy. I rather see my parents happy in their own lives separately than to have them stayed together and be miserable. I thank my mom for always working hard at instilling in all of us the right to pursue your own happiness, to stand up for yourself and for others when the situation calls for it. I thank my mother for not letting hatred enter our hearts, because no matter how many issues my parents may have she has always taught us to show respect to our father, to value the good things in him and to learn from both his and her mistakes.
After watching my mother counsel, seeing the look of gratitude on the faces of those who sought her help, and after reading some of her blogs, I chose to write on bullying. When I was younger I was constantly bullied by bigger kids. I have watched some people attempt to bully my family into submission by spreading false rumors about us just so they can make themselves feel better. I have seen many of my classmates be exposed to cyber bullying and the consequences of it. Before I continue I want to thank my mother and my step father for all their advice and for everything that you do. You are not perfect but you are a good example of what it is to never let the past define your present or future.
Unfortunately, over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year while approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day due to bullying. Suicide is alarmingly the third leading cause of death among young people, which sadly results in about 4,400 deaths per year.
When people and bullies do things to hurt you its important to realize that the things they do don’t have to hurt you; you are letting them hurt you! You have the power to stand up and to do something about it. If you’re not happy then you need to do something about it. No one in this world is powerless and anyone who tells you differently is wrong. If someone tells you that you are powerless, well, ladies and gentlemen, that is total B.S. We are all powerful. You are powerful. You have the power to stand up for yourself and say no, I won’t put up with this. No, its over I’m done, because when you stand up for yourself, you stand up for the expectations you have for yourself. You stand up to show that you will not be treated like this no longer, that you have respect for yourself to not be treated like this anymore, that you are worth more than they are treating you. Some people say its scary…hell, I know its scary, life is scary, but know within the fear lies the strength and power to say enough, to draw the line and walk away.
Walking away isn’t weak, its strong; its probably one of the strongest things to do. Know you are not alone, you are never alone as there are millions of people who have been affected by bullying. You’re breathing, your heart is beating, you are alive so you are able to do something about it. You are able to do something about what is happening to you. Don’t just stand there, STAND UP for yourself.
Bullies like to feel they have control over you, so show them they don’t. Bullies like to make you feel small, so show them you are big. Show them you are not just going to put up with their intimidating you and that you are not just somebody they can toy with. You are only a victim if you make yourself one or if you let them turn you into one. If you are letting yourself be surrounded by people that lack showing the respect you deserve, you need to see your self worth. As my mom says to us, “you are valuable, so show them that you are something”.
These people may throw words at you, cruel words to bring you down. Words have the power to bring people up as well as crush them but only if you let them crush you. Bullies think they’re better, that they are stronger when reality is that they are either people who don’t want to be responsible for their actions, or they are hurting individuals who want you to feel the pain they have felt. Neither is a good reason to bully, we all have felt hurt, that doesn’t give us the right to go hurting others. Bullying is cruel, what bullies do is cruel but through all of it you can learn. You can learn from the pain. Hell, thank them because through that pain can come experience and knowledge. I know what bullies do is wrong, it is terribly wrong but don’t hate them either. Hate brings you nothing but unnecessary pain to yourself. I actually feel bad for bullies because it makes me wonder how small they must see themselves, or how much time they spend feeding their wounds, that they feel the need to make another feel pain, but I do not tolerate bullying. I’m sorry for those individuals who hurt others and hope for them to let go of the anger, the pain, the whatever it is that makes you do what you do and hopefully you will find peace of mind. I am so sorry for the people who have been or are still being a target of bullying. What is happening is not right but I hope the targets of bullying realize that you will also make mistakes and at some point, will inflict pain on another so I hope you can forgive whoever has hurt you because you are bound to hurt another, that you are bound to make mistakes. Forgive them but stand up for yourself and don’t let them into your life.
You may not be a target of bullying, but are you a bystander? If every person who was a witness to bullying would actually stand up for the person targeted, bullying wouldn’t be such an uprising problem. When you just stand there and do nothing, you are no better then the bully themselves. You are enabling the bully to continue their cruel behavior and to negatively hurt others around them. You not taking a stand affects the life of others. Instead of saving a person from bullying, you only indirectly encourage it. Most bystanders say oh its not my problem, they can figure it out themselves. Do you not understand that 4,400 people kill themselves per year because of bullying and you could’ve saved a life by taking a stand, instead you contributed to the problem?
For every suicide among young people, there are at the very least 100 suicide attempts. Sadly, over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and unfortunately close to 7 percent have attempted it. By taking a stand, you show the individual getting targeted by the bully that there are people who care as well as showing the bully that their behavior is not tolerable. Take a stand because if the roles were reversed, you would want someone to take a stand for you too. Ultimately though it is up to the individual themselves targeted by bullying to take a stand. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what happened, its what you are going to do about it. What are you going to do about what is happening to you? You and only you are the solution to your own problems (its doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone but then be strong enough to ask for help). You are in control of your own life. You are not alone. You are never alone. You are not a nobody, you are a somebody, but are you somebody who will take a stand?
Written for my English Debate Class, Grade 9 By: Sierra D
I wanted to finish the sharing of her essay with a quote from Rumi….
“Oh soul you have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings. Of anything else why do you worry?. You are in truth the soul, of the soul, of the soul”.