Monday, February 16, 2009

Taking a Stand

"'Cause when push comes to shove, you taste what you're made of. You might bend till you break 'cause it's all you can take. On your knees you look up, decide you've had enough. You get mad, you get strong, wipe your hands, shake it off. Then you stand.'"

The country music group Rascal Flatts sums up the meaning of taking a stand in their hit, Stand.

Sometimes situations become dire enough that a person must take actions. Although standing up for one's beliefs may bring about immediate negative reactions, it is always a positive choice to follow one's heart.

Back in sixth grade, my group of friends had a tumultuous time. My best friend's mother was battling cancer. My new baby brother was in and out of the hospital seven times. My other friends were constantly battling over the same boys. Life was hectic.

In that world of middle school drama and best friends forever scandals, the dynamics of our formerly close-knit group constantly fluctuated.

Sixth grade was the first year of the magnet programs, so we had classes with brand new people. Some of these people were unbelievably fractious and just plain mean. One particular girl had her mind set on stealing my best friend. She left me out of slumber parties and secrets. On the playground, she would not let my best friend play with me. I was devastated.

Finally, I had had enough. I was sick of this girl's fake friendship and trouble making. One day after school, I confronted her. I told her that she had no reason to be mean to me and had no right to steal my friends. I said that I really did not care what she thought of me because I knew what true friends were and she did not fit the bill.

After that incident, she stopped coming between my best friend and me. She found another girl to befriend who helped her harass less assertive girls.

I am glad that I stood up to that bully because if I had not, I probably would still be tormented today by her and would be a far less confident person.

By letting that girl hear my voice, I made it known that I would not allow bullies to push me around and control my life. I live by the same philosophy today.

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