The other night I was part of a panel discussion for Known_Nashville. A gathering of beautiful whole hearted women.
One of the questions was, What breaks your heart?
My first thought was bullying, yet that was not my answer. The question for that answer would have to be, "What pisses me off more than anything?!
Bullying. Bullies. Hateful people.
My first memory of being involved in this was the school bus in elementary school. My brother a year older, and taller, found himself in the middle of the aisle, face to face with a punk. I have no recollection of the kid or reason they were about to go at it, but I remember inserting myself in the middle and telling him in 1970's lingo, "To step off!"
He did... or maybe it was our stop.
He did... or maybe it was our stop.
From an early age I stood up for the underdog. I had been the underdog a couple of times and I remember how lonely it felt. I didn't want others to feel that way. Simple.
Later, in my twenties, I was in a bar with my brother and a similar instance occurred. I again inserted myself in between the two men and repeated in 1980's lingo to "Step off!"
I have no idea what my brother thought either time, he is very chill. Clearly I am not.
I also drink the sibling juice of, I can talk any &%#@ I want about my brother, but you, young buck cannot!
Last summer, there was an incident on the fourth of July. This one included some extremely inebriated people who did not want us to park on the public street, because they were setting off fireworks in the public street. First we ignored them, but when the rockets started to red glare at the bumper of our car, we turned around to face the
Quickly, ugly words flew from their mouths towards my son, and fists were raised. I pulled out my phone and dialed 911 and guess what... Yes, I inserted myself between said drunk and my son.
I told him in direct words, "Enough! Step Off!"
It was a thing.
It was a thing.
My main concern was protecting my 21 yr old son from any type of incident that could harm him.
My son, stood tall, face to face with drunken man, yet never uttered an ugly word or raised a hand.
I was proud of him and somewhat amused that I still had it and would go the distance with the drunken woman in the mismatched Hee Haw outfit.
Luckily the always fabulous Metro PD arrived and we moved on.
My track record shows I do not back down from a bully. Yet these are harmless bullies. They are not IN your life, but merely a temporary inconvenience.
This fall my husband walked (true story) six miles from his hotel to a work meeting held simultaneously with the Kansas City World Series parade! This moment was hard enough for my husband, a Mets fan. But to be physically inserted in the hundreds of thousands of fans, trying to arrive at his meeting, suit jacket over shoulder, drenched in sweat with a blistered heal.
He shared with me a couple comments people made to him as he was maneuvering the crowd. They assumed he was trying to get in front of them as they were mapping out their spots. They assumed he had bad intentions.
In fact, he was trying to weave through the madness to arrive on the other side, where his meeting would take place.
Uber, you really let us down.
Sometimes people don't want you to arrive on the other side. They just want you out. So they scream lies to stop your progress.
They are bullies.
Sometimes you cannot escape them because they live on your street, go to your school, work in the cubicle next to you or even... go to church with you.
Adult bullies usually bully with their mouth.
They puff up their chests and they spew.
They spew hatred, half truths and innuendo, hoping some of it will stick.
So what do we do?
As adults, we usually look on, mouths agape.
But mostly we do what kids do. Nothing.
We watch. Sometimes we hope for the best, but always protecting ourselves first.
This is natural and wise.
But I can't buy into that.
I don't believe we were made to be bystanders, rubberneckers of disaster. We are called to be First Responders, defenders, protectors... friend.
When I was asked that question, What breaks your heart"... my answer was, People living in fear. Afraid of relationships, new ideas, jobs, adventures.
People afraid to live.
I wear a key around my neck that shouts, Fearless.
Does this mean I am immune to fear?!
No. A solid no... but, I do not stay there. I do not live in fear.
I live in freedom.
It means this...
I trust in the One who created me out of the dust. The One who holds my hand when the bully comes after me or mine.
The One I can trust with my future because He has protected me in the past and His track record is stellar.
When I walk through the dark valley and the path is rocky and unfamiliar, I know He is with me, sharpening me, and will bring me forth as gold.
So today, what breaks your heart? What makes you so mad that you YOU are willing to stand up and say,
Use your words, your freedom of fear, your power that comes from good, what breaks your heart...
go make a difference for someone or something that matters today.
He's got this!
And I will always have your back!
Now, go kick some bully %$#!