There is power in all of us. Power to harm another. Power to help another. Power to give up on ourselves. And the power to become what we were born to become...no matter what challenges we have to overcome.
It might seem easier to join in bullying someone who is different than you. Or to just stand by and do nothing when you see someone being picked on...because you wouldn't look cool. And when it comes to standing up for yourself and seeing that it is often those very things that you are teased about that will make you GREAT one day...let's just admit it, it's hard! It's also hard to see that where you are right now won't last forever. But giving up on someone else - or yourself - steals the future. Yours or that one kid in your school that no one really wants to be friends with.
There was a boy (I'll call him Justin) I went to high school with whose family had a lot of problems. His brothers all took drugs to cope with it and flunked classes until they finally dropped out. I remember that his brothers were cool and fit in with a certain group...because they were all taking drugs and failing. But Justin was different. First, he was super smart. Maybe the smartest kid I knew. And Justin was short...not just short, but third-grader short. He would sit on the front row of every class I had with him and when a teacher asked a question his hand would shoot up, waving, and his feet would jog under his desk. No one was Justin's friend. Once I stood up for him in a hallway, but I didn't sit with him at lunch. I didn't take a seat beside him in class or say "hi" very often in the hall. After I graduated from high school, I saw Justin pushing his bike along the side of a road one day. I picked him up and drove him home. The next thing I heard about Justin was that he had killed himself. For the rest of my life I will wonder if I could have done something to change that. Justin gave up on his power...and so had his brothers. All of them lost their future by the choices they made.
That's how regret works. What we think will never end does...(a bully's popularity, family problems, our face covered with zits, or a kid being picked on). And then we are left with what we did with our personal power. Who do you want to be? Not right now, as in popular or captain of the cheerleading squad...but in your future? What kind of kid do you want to remember yourself as being? Decide now and live a life free of regret. Be your BEST self. Not a perfect self, but the best self you can be each day. Reach out and smile at the kid being left out. And if you are being left out, if you are being bullied...if no one is standing up for you...stand up for yourself. Don't give up. Do what you have to do to claim your power! One day everything will change. Like it did for my bullied, nerdy brother Sven who grew up to be a doctor and marry Miss Teen Ohio. :)