We boarded the sky link at DFW airport. It had been a long day of travel for my husband and I. We headed to the back of the car, leaned against the window, dropped our heavy bags.
I looked up to see a young woman; early 20’s step in the door. She turned her back to me. She was brightly dressed in cropped pants that showed interesting tattoos on the back of both ankles. Her neck had a long tattoo, there were a few others. Her lobes had multiple earrings. She was listening to her iPod.
She paid no attention to us. She bothered no one.
If I sound vague to her tattoos and adornments it is because I was. It isn’t something I stare at. She wasn’t bothering me. She didn’t smell. She wasn’t rude. She was appropriate in behavior.
I glanced to my left and was surprised at what I witnessed. A woman, making a face, while pointing her bright red fingernail at this young woman. Pointing. She poked her husband and he agreed, at least in facial gesture that he too, was disgusted. My mouth fell open. I was appalled at their behavior. I don’t expect this from adults.
The young woman didn’t see them, but I did and possibly others. They were bullies and it was ugly. It was rude, impolite, shameless, and insulting.
They continued mumbling, in their displeasure. I did not like these people.
My mind was thinking… Lady, you have got to be kidding me. You have no reason to make fun of someone else. Did you look in the mirror before you left the house today? You look like a washed up 1980’s cocktail waitress from Atlantic City.
Long, bleach blonde ponytail pulled to one side with a pink bow. High heels and tight pink pants… Walmart called, they want their Poly and Ester back. Did I mention she was 65 if a day?
These thoughts permeated my mind in seconds. I didn’t have to work at this. It’s evidently a gift. I looked around. Was someone judging me, for judging her, for judging the first her?
This is getting weird. And did I just bully her in my mind? Am I as bad as them?
What if the girl with the tattoos smelled? Would I judge her then? What if she acted weird, by my standards? Would I judge her then?
Tattoos don’t bother me, it’s a personal choice. My son has a tattoo. I hope he doesn’t cover his body with them, but if he did would I still love him? Would I judge him or bully him? Would I call him names because he has an earring, or two? No, a thousand times no, and if you did, I would hurt you.
Bullying is so common we sometimes don’t recognize it in ourselves. We feel superior; we use our strength, our influence to intimidate others.
Judging is even easier. We form a bias, a personal opinion. We draw conclusions, sometimes without reason. It’s not our concern; we don’t know all the facts. It’s usually none of our business.
I still don’t like this couple. I believe they were dead wrong. If they had made a scene, I would have stepped in. I will always step in when I see someone being picked on. I despise the bully mentality.
Many years ago, one of my kids was being bullied. A mean kid, trying to intimidate another kid. My kid. This child had a reputation for bullying. I found myself in the company of said child for a few short seconds, alone. Yes, I am that good.
I looked said child in the eye and said, “Child, this behavior will stop, now. “ The child looked at me, tears welling up and shook head. It ended that day. Could it have gone another way? Sure. I took my chances and it worked.
I would do the same for your child.
I learned recently that people who get involved in situations, sometimes dangerous situations, those who are willing to take risks… they see themselves as people who can make a difference. They see the outcome as positive. It never occurs to them that they will not succeed.
One example they used was a woman who witnessed a truck accident one morning on her way to work. The truck was on fire, lots of smoke and flames. It had just happened and she knew she was the first one on the scene. She ran to that truck and pulled the unconscious man out. She saved his life, single handedly. She makes me proud.
Would I have done that? I hope so. Shouldn’t I know so?
I recognized bullying and judging that day in the airport. I also recognized things about myself I did not like. I wasn’t so different than the finger-pointing woman.
I hope I would pull someone out of a burning building or vehicle, I also hope I would stand up for my fellow man and woman when I see them being treated wrongly.
I believe we are called to that, no matter the color of skin, the clothing we wear, or if our hair is a bad shade of bottle blonde.
God loves them as much as He loves me. Let’s let the fine art of bullying die and practice the fine art of gentleness, kindness and mercy.