Bena Mae's Kitchen: Bully victim forgives
This is not the article I had planned to write but when I read it on the internet, I was touched so profoundly I had to share it with you. It is about the national problem of bullying in school that is far too prevalent today and must be stopped.
I don’t recall bullying being a major factor when I was in school during the 1930’s and ‘40’s at Central High in Corbin but it may have existed under another name, like boys being boys which was accepted as horseplay or just having fun. However, the recipient of the abuse did not think of it as fun and could and probably was traumatized for life.
I apologize for my lack of sensitivity or unseeingness at that time and am remorseful for it to this day.
The story centers around a girl who was constantly picked on by her classmates and later wrote a poem describing the cruelty in which she describes the humiliation she suffered. She read it at a class reunion that brought apologies and tears to the classmate’s eyes. The poem, written by Fredrika, a mother of three, describes how the bullying she endured as a teenager twenty-five years ago shattered her childhood. It reads as follows:
“That little girl who came to school with the clothes she wore the day before, instead of asking why, you picked on her.
The little girl who had to walk to school while others rode the bus, instead of asking why, you picked on her.
The little girl who had bruises and was dirty, instead of asking why, you picked on her.
The little girl who was always crying, instead of asking why, you picked on her.”
One of her classmates told NBC News that she remembers how cruel the other kids were to Fredrika. “Looking at her being horribly bullied and thinking... I feel so bad for her, but never thinking in my head that I could stand up for her, and not once did anyone back her up.”
(Was that me, I wondered. Is it something I erased from my memory? Was I a witness to this kind of behavior and instead of helping out, looked the other way? If so, then God forgive me.)
The poem has been a wake up call for many of Fredrika’s classmates. “Just people in tears, like how could we have done this to her. They were just crying, saying how could I do that? Many of her classmates have contacted her and apologized.”
“We are making a statement for everyone who bullies anyone,’’ wrote Wendy Gotte on the high school reunion facebook page. “It hurts everyone along the way.”
Fredrika said she forgives her old classmates and has accepted the invitation to return for the reunion. She said, “Christ forgave me and I forgive you.”
I don’t know if I could have been this charitable. I just don’t know.
Bacon Potato Salad
from Southern Living
6 to 8 medium potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 green onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 tablespoons diced pimiento, drained
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
Garnishes: paprika, celery sticks
Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover in a Dutch oven over medium heat 15 to 18 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool slightly.
Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add bacon, chopped green onions, and next 4 ingredients. Stir together mayonnaise and sour cream until blended. Pour over potato mixture, toss gently and chill. Garnish with paprika if desired.