Though I was bullied, I once was quite wicked to one of my young classmates and friends. There were three of us who walked to school together all through grade school. One day two of us decided that we would not like the third. I do not remember what brought this on. The two of us wrote with chalk on the corner of each block all the way to school that our friend was stupid, ugly and other mean things that only a grade schooler in the 60’s can come up with. I can’t imagine how she must have felt, to have her friends turn on her.
When this happened my parents found out and I was held accountable. I had to write a letter of apology to my friend’s parents and friend. I had to go to their house deliver my letter and then apologize to them in person. My friend’s father did not make it an easy task. It was truly one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
Hard or not, delivering that apology affected me in so many ways. I learned that an apology isn’t done to excuse your behavior, or seek absolution, or justify your behavior, but to acknowledge others were hurt by your behavior. I learned that a true apology isn’t easy, but it must be done. I learned that we are all to be held accountable for our actions. That everything we do affects something else. Ying and yang. It was a life lesson that I learned in grade school that has served me well all my life.
I think that today’s children, bullies and not, could use to learn the lessons of personal accountability. Maybe the world would b be a better place, and hold a better future.