To the Best Teachers Who Made a Positive Difference in My Life

Many of my teachers were awesome and truly had the best interests of their students at heart. Yes, there were about 3-4 teachers throughout my school days who joined my classmates in their incessant and obsessive bullying.

However, there were also those beacons of light, those rare gems, those sparkling jewels- those unforgettable and outstanding teachers who made such a difference in my life that I honestly don’t know where I’d be without them. Next to my mother and both grandmothers, these teachers helped me to see what I was capable of.

They were teachers who stood behind me when I was being bullied and who I believe were being bullied by other teachers and faculty because they were so impartial, fair, and the best with kids.

They could be tough at times, especially when they knew we weren’t trying and reaching our potential. These teachers were never abusive, but they pushed me and the other kids they taught to be their best, and I have the utmost honor and respect for them.

Sadly, one of those teachers is no longer with us.

Mr. Dennis Strayhorn- Although I wasn’t in his class long, he made such a positive difference in my life. He always encouraged me to push and do better and he didn’t tolerate laziness so he could be tough any time I give up and stopped trying. This man believed in me and knew that I could achieve heights that not even I realized I could reach at the time. Sadly, he passed away in his sleep in 2007.

I believe that he went peacefully and that’s what gives me comfort. May he rejoice in Heaven forever!

positive peace candle

Mrs. Sue Toles- She also left a huge imprint on my heart. This is the teacher who, I’ll remember the most. She loved her students and she made it a point to take care of and stand up for us. She always looked out for us and had our best at heart. She too could be tough when we’d get lazy because she always knew that we could do better.

She never gave up on me even when I’d given up on myself and those are the things about a great teacher that leave lasting memories. I love her even today and still talk to her every now and again. Mrs. Toles continues to be one of my mentors.

Mrs. Sheila Dodson- This lady was an outstanding teacher. She’s the teacher I had when I first began writing my own stories and she encouraged me to keep writing because she believed it would pay off one day. She was right!

Like the other great teachers, she had no time for laziness because she believed in us and knew that we could do more than we thought. She always said that “You are the only person who holds you back.”

Mr. Raymond Neal- Mr. Neal was the comedian teacher and he always made class fun. He too could be tough when kids in his class got lazy. However, he was one of the few teachers who was empathetic to bullied kids and gave them the support and encouragement they needed.

With the Golden Rule posted above his chalkboard, he was a stickler about how kids treated each other and was quick to call bullies out when they’d come calling. He’s crack little jokes and make us laugh throughout the class period. He was the type of teacher who made you look forward to coming to his class and made you sad to have to leave it.

It is teachers like these above who are as rare and priceless as blue diamonds and they definitely did not miss their calling. Sadly, awesome teachers such as these are very few and far between. We definitely need more like them because they are a blessing to any child’s life and they leave such a lasting impression. These are the teachers who are unforgettable!

These are the teachers who truly make a difference, and, therefore, make not only the classroom, but the entire world, a better place!

12 Postive Takeaways You Can Take from Being Bullied

1. Empathy and Compassion for the underdog

2. Appreciation of your family, friends and all the fantastic people in your life

3. Clarity of what you will and will not tolerate

4. Determination to go after what you want in life

5. A Sharper BS Detector

6. A Mission to tell your story and speak out against injustice

7. A Realization of the importance of self-care, loving yourself, and being comfortable in your own skin.

8. A Desire to learn about human behavior and why people do what they do

9. The will to protect other targets of bullying

10. The Strength and willingness to get rid of toxic people and live life on your terms

11. The selectiveness of who you allow into your life

12. A better judge of character

Here’s What Being Bullied Taught Me

positive love yourself self-love

Although being bullied is no fun and can be damaging to the psyche, there are many lessons that can be learned from it. Here’s what it taught me.

1. The evils humans are capable of and their predatory nature. People can be the evilest and the cruelest of all living things. Not everyone is inherently good. Being bullied taught me to be on the lookout for those who would secretly wish to harm my loved ones or me. It taught me to watch for enemies disguised as friends and to pay close attention to body language, expressions, and any micro flashes. And it taught me exactly what signs in other people to watch for.

2. Empathy and Compassion. Being bullied taught me empathy and compassion for others. Because I know first hand what it is and how it feels to be a target of bullies, I make it a point to extend kindness, especially to people whom others have unjustly marginalized and misjudged. I believe in spreading the same goodness and dignity to the janitor as I would the CEO.

positive inspire encourage

3. To never take anyone for granted. Because I know what it is to be rejected by everyone and to be left alone to fend for myself, I have nothing but appreciation for the people in my life and all the good they bring. I make it a point never to take my family and friends for granted, and I will fight to protect them if they’re being mistreated or are in trouble. I value loyalty, and I extend it to the people who matter to me. If you are a person I love and you tell me a secret, you can bet that your secret will be safe with me. And if anyone trash talks you, I’ll defend you even when you aren’t around to see it.

4. To value, love, and take care of myself. Because, let’s face it. No one else will. It’s so important to put yourself first. No matter what anyone thinks or says, be true to yourself. Be yourself. And don’t let bullies distort your self-esteem or tell you “it isn’t cool” if there’s something you really enjoy doing. Take care of yourself. Stand up for yourself. Do what fulfills you and makes you happy. And forget the rest. Confidence and self-love are the most important things you can have.

5. To go after my goals and dreams. If there’s anything I want in life, I go after it. I work hard for what I want because I’ve gotten enough of what I don’t. Being bullied gave me the tenacity to reach my goals and dreams. And I’ve made several accomplishments- accomplishments I probably never would’ve made had I not been a target of bullying. Bullies only fuel my motivation to reach more successes and live a happy life. So, instead of holding grudges against your bullies, use them as your drive to reach heights you never thought possible! Because happiness and success are the best revenge you can ever take.

say no

6. To never be afraid to say “no” or set boundaries. I learned the hard way that if you don’t say no nor set boundaries, people will walk all over you. And sometimes, even if you do, there will be those who will double down and challenge those boundaries. But you must stay firm no matter what. You might be retaliated against for it, but at least you’ll feel better later, in knowing that you stood up for yourself. And as the old saying goes, “I’d rather die on my feet than to live on my knees.”

Finding the lessons in bullying will make you a happier person later on. It did me!

Bullying and Hatred Disguised as Social Justice

The biggest excuse for hatred and bullying today is in the name of social causes. They hide their hatred of certain individuals and groups behind political activism and the accomplishment of social goals, which have nothing to do with love for your fellow man. As we’ve learned in the last year, most political policies only serve to destroy civilization.

Bullying and hatred only see laws, rules and norms as ways to oppress. I’m not saying that certain corrupt individuals won’t pervert them for their own ends, because they do. However, laws, rules and norms are initially put in place for a good reason, to preserve peace and safety for everyone. The dark side of human nature dictates that without laws and rules, our society would be a cesspool of chaos, anarchy, and suffering.

Bullies and haters will use words like “equality” and the past sins of targeted groups and individuals as an excuse to cause harm and destruction to those who have been labeled, fairly or unfairly. They will hide their hatred behind a veneer of a desire to do the right thing and use shame, disgust, and ridicule to bully people who may or may not have contributed to the inequality.

In this, innocent people can become objects of bullying and hatred because they are different somehow- they may be of different races, religions, or political beliefs. They may also be bullied and hated because they are poor. Maybe they smell bad, or are considered unattractive.

Many are bullied and hated because of something they have no control over- maybe they have a mental handicap, are physically weak, disabled, or disfigured. Some are hated because they don’t conform to certain standards. Maybe they were disadvantaged, got a poor education, and not as knowledgeable about things that most people already know.

Maybe they don’t dress properly, or they just do things their own way and not the way everyone else does. Difference, no matter how slight, always attracts bullying and hatred. Always! It’s sad but true! And innocent people who so happen to fall into the hated category of people end up persecuted and suffer needlessly and unfairly.

Hatred and bullying are so tricky because, like I’ve mentioned earlier, people often disguise their hatred and bullying as morality and equality. To be accepted, hatred and bullying can never be boldfaced and without moral reasoning. Bullies and haters must hide behind the facade of justice and fairness.

For example, hatred that stems from jealousy often dresses itself as a campaign of fairness. I’m not saying that all campaigns of fairness and justice stem from hate. However, many do.

The idea of spreading the wealth is one such example of class envy and hating and bullying those who have worked hard and reached financial and personal success.

In my opinion, a person that has worked hard to get his business off the ground and is successful in doing so deserves to keep his profits. Why? Because he worked hard, and he earned it. And he has the option to donate to the charities of his choice and help the poor but it’s his choice whether to.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m charitable and I like to give to the less fortunate, but only because I want to! Not because some politician or activist demands that I give a portion of my earnings. And I can guarantee that if anyone dares to demand that I give them something, the only thing they will get from me is a proverbial middle finger and an “up yours.”

People give because they want to, not because they’re ordered to. That, my friends, is human nature.

Movements like these send the wrong message- that’s it’s somehow wrong for someone else to have something “that I don’t have and haven’t found a way to get” even though they worked their ass off to get what they have and where they are.

Another example is hatred and the desire to take revenge, which often masquerades as movements and campaigns against injustice or for justice.

Again, I’m not saying that all of these campaigns are about hate and vengeance. Martin Luther King, in his marches for freedom, surely did NOT advocate hatred, bullying, or taking revenge. His campaigns were for true unity and the good of mankind.

However, it’s too easy to use these campaigns to justify hatred and bullying, just as extremist groups like Antifa and others do. This is wrong. There’s no justification for hatred and bullying. Never! When groups such as these say the word “justice,” what they really mean is “revenge.” It’s how they justify burning, looting, violence, and murder.

Bullies and haters will also pervert the word compassion to hide hatred and bullying and will also recruit people to join them in their hatred of another person or group. This is how they trick people into believing that they’re being compassionate of their pain when, all they’re really doing is promoting hatred and hostility toward a target or targets.

Remember that MLK encouraged forgiveness and peaceful protesting. He encouraged unity. Sadly, groups like Antifa, BAMN, and The Red Guard encourage only hatred and any voice that encourages forgiveness or peace will be seen as opposition and quickly silenced. These groups will make it seem unfeeling and to lack empathy for the oppressed.

But lies disguised as compassion are of the most evil variety because they cause the most destruction and blind it’s followers to their hate, hostility, and viciousness. It’s also how innocent people are demonized and brutalized. Because, when an innocent person is labelled as bad and evil, they then become targets for hatred, violence, even murder!

It’s actually a clever and convincing disguise, but think about this: Satan never comes before you in a red suit with horns and a pointy tail, no. He always comes as an angel of light or as your heart’s desire- something you’ve always dreamed of. And trust me, he’s damn good at it! And why not? He’s the master of lies and fake disguises!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What Being Bullied Taught Me

positive love yourself self-love

Although being bullied is no fun and can be damaging to the psyche, there are many lessons that can be learned from it. Here’s what it taught me.

1. The evils humans are capable of and their predatory nature. People can be the evilest and the cruelest of all living things. Not everyone is inherently good. Being bullied taught me to be on the lookout for those who would secretly wish to harm my loved ones or me. It taught me to watch for enemies disguised as friends and to pay close attention to body language, expressions, and any micro flashes. And it taught me exactly what signs in other people to watch for.

2. Empathy and Compassion. Being bullies taught me empathy and compassion for others. Because I know first hand what it is and how it feels to be a target of bullies, I make it a point to extend kindness, especially to people whom others have unjustly marginalized and misjudged. I believe in spreading the same goodness and dignity to the janitor as I would the CEO.

positive inspire encourage

3. To never take anyone for granted. Because I know what it is to be rejected by everyone and to be left alone to fend for myself, I have nothing but appreciation for the people in my life and all the good they bring. I make it a point never to take my family and friends for granted, and I will fight to protect them if they’re being mistreated or are in some trouble. I value loyalty, and I extend it to the people who matter to me. If you are a person I love and you tell me a secret, you can bet that your secret will be safe with me. And if anyone trash talks you, I’ll defend you even when you aren’t around to see it.

4. To value, love, and take care of myself. Because, let’s face it. No one else will. It’s so important to put yourself first. No matter what anyone thinks or says, be true to yourself. Be yourself. And don’t let bullies distort your self-esteem or tell you “it isn’t cool” if there’s something you really enjoy doing. Take care of yourself. Stand up for yourself. Do what fulfills you and makes you happy. And forget the rest. Confidence and self-love are the most important things you can have.

5. To go after my goals and dreams. If there’s anything I want in life, I go after it. I work hard for what I want because I’ve gotten enough of what I don’t. Being bullied gave me the tenacity to reach my goals and dreams. And I’ve made several accomplishments- accomplishments I probably never would’ve made had I not been a target of bullying. Bullies only fuel my motivation to reach more successes and live a happy life. So, instead of holding grudges against your bullies, use them as your drive to reach heights you never thought possible! Because happiness and success are the best revenge you can ever take.

say no

6. To never be afraid to say “no” or set boundaries. I learned the hard way that if you don’t say no nor set boundaries, people will walk all over you. And sometimes, even if you do, there will be those who will double down and challenge those boundaries. But you must stay firm no matter what. You might be retaliated against for it, but at least you’ll feel better later, in knowing that you stood up for yourself. And as the old saying goes, “I’d rather die on my feet than to live on my knees.”

Finding the lessons in bullying will make you a happier person later on. It did me!