On the outside…

old house painted

Look around at the world today. Hurt and disrespect are all around. Children are born into innocence and rudely thrust into anguish. Parents try to shelter them from the cruelty of the world, but at some point it inevitably comes crashing in.

Picture a little girl, 5 years old, pigtails, glasses, freckles dotted across her nose. Her mom is taking her to school on her first day in grade one. Her excitement is evident. She is wearing a new outfit, hand made by her mom to wear on that special day. Topping off the outfit is a beautiful yellow sweater with bluebirds on the pocket. She had picked out the pattern herself and her grandmother knitted it special for her. Up until now, she was a regular little girl without a care or worry, eager to face what the world had to offer, but this day her spirit would become crushed. She was called names and made fun of because of her glasses and homemade clothes. The only way the other children would play with her was if she went along with their games. Sacrificing her self-worth in this manner just to be included only made her feel smaller and inconsequential while empowering those who would push her down. The meekness in someone like this little girl fuels the fires in others. This ability to hurt with words creates an insatiable hunger, and the need to push others down in order to pull themselves up becomes a thirst that grows harder and harder to satisfy.

Sometimes those who have been pushed down push back against those who have sought to bury them. They strike out with pain and fury, but all too often the only one they know how to hurt is themselves.

For those who have been thrown aside, all this time spent in solitude has left them with poor social skills, which in turn causes them to become even more outcast.

As time marches on, people like this young girl are expected to grow up, get over it and move on: words that are easily said for someone who has not lived in a sea of self-doubt and loathing for a lifetime. No matter how many motivational speeches are given, how many well-meaning words of encouragement are heard, change is not easily achieved, any more than expecting a turtle to wake up tomorrow and suddenly being able to fly.

When change doesn’t happen, these lost souls are labelled as being weird or different. They are accused of being unwilling to change without being afforded the courtesy of trying to understand the hurt.

And so life goes on. The strong continue to be strong, feeding on the loneliness and fear of the weak. The weak remain in the fringe… longing to belong but not knowing how… forever on the outside.


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