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Offered by: Willy Strohmeier – Colorado Karate Club

It was the 9th grade at my all-boys school many years ago. I don’t remember many things, but this one incident, I remember quite well…

A classmate was returning to his desk from getting his graded paper from the teacher. A confident young man, good in sports, but who happened to walk pigeon toed. As he walked back to his desk, some boys blurted out jokes about his “funny walk.” I thought it funny too, so I joined-in, repeating the things I heard them say.

Although he ignored everyone else, he stopped by my desk and said calmly: “Willy, I have no problem with you, why are you bothering me?” At that moment, I was embarrassed, ashamed of myself, and never forgot the moment. I realized that I was acting like a bully, even though I never thought of myself as one. I thought that I knew better, but I guess I had forgotten, just to be part of the crowd.

Many of our children encounter situations like this every day, either as the bully, the victim, or as a bystander. It is our duty to help them choose what is right. Or just – as with me – to remind them who they should be, and how they should act.

As an adolescent I was glad to be reminded by my classmate of these two points:

  • “Don’t be a bully and never join them”.
  • “If you see someone being bullied, don’t stand by, stand up – for yourself and for others.”

There is always something you can do when you see bullying! And by acting, you may in fact be helping them both.

Willy Strohmeier – Sensei Colorado Karate Club

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