Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Cruelty of Small Children

There are so many theories as to what this song is actually about, but according to the creator it's about the cruelty of small children.
And I have no problem believing that at all.

You see, I was a victim of the cruelty of small children while I was a child myself. I was isolated, I was ridiculed, I was emotionally, mentally, and physically hurt. My belongings were public property and routinely destroyed.
And no one who knew cared, save five people: an old friend of mine, my mother, my grandfather, Maureen, and myself.

I had one friend, Owen, who also experienced the cruelty of the same small children, during the school year. I had to wait until summer to have more friends. Sam and Walker, Ari and Cody. During the summer I knew I had friends who would never treat me like dirt just because I didn't know they were popular at a school I had never been to before. They wouldn't treat me like my oldest friend Kelsey.
And they didn't know that it was happening. They didn't know that during the school year and in my own town I had one singular friend.
I didn't want them to.

I had fun during the summer. I had friends, actual friends, and I didn't want the ugliness of the school year to intrude on my time with them.

And then there's the one thing that I lived with my whole life.
I knew someone who was a fairly constant presence in my life. She not only didn't care that I was bullied and pushed around, she said it was my fault.
She said I needed to dress differently, act differently, drop my interests of reading and video games and trading card games, horses and singing and archery.
She said I needed to care about celebrities and boy bands and clothes.
She said I needed to wear clothes that didn't cover enough skin for me to feel comfortable.
She said I needed to stop riding and doing barn chores and instead play softball or soccer or some other sport.
I said no. That was a mistake.
I didn't want to change who I was. I had no concept of pretending to be someone I wasn't in order to fit in with the majority of people. I had no DESIRE to pretend to like the people who hated me. Why would I?
I was told that if I followed her instructions that they WOULD like me.
I asked her that one question: Why would I want to be friends with the same people who isolated me, hurt me, and ridiculed me?

The cruelty of small children broke me.

But I put myself back together and, like the Japanese art of kintsugi, made those parts of me that broke, that were the target of the cruelty, shine out.

I do have to wonder, though, what I would be like had I not experienced so much of the cruelty of small children.
I have to question just why the behavior that is condemned in adults, condemned, intolerable, considered harassment, even assault, is tolerated, ignored, even encouraged in children.

Can anyone tell me that?

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