Never Be Afraid of a Bully

When I was a child, my adoptive father would always joke with me, telling me that he and my adoptive mom picked me out from a room of babies. “I want the curly-headed one over there,” he told me he said to the nurses. For years, I happily believed this story of my beginnings. When I was about eight they modified the story, explaining that someone else gave birth to me, but I still believed in the magic of my dark curls.

I have continued to carry those curls as I approach my golden years. Even though my adoptive parents have since died, I continue to feel loved and proud to display my tight, dark brown locks of hair wherever I go.

There was a time I wished I did not have curly hair.

Kids can be cruel. Bullies always find a way to find that one unique aspect of a person and pounce on it. Then they will use that aspect relentlessly until their victim is shamefully defeated. In elementary school, some mean kids would hurl names at me like “Curly top” or “Kinky hair.” Before I had the chance to feel inferior my adoptive mother became my motivational coach, encouraging me to always walk tall and be proud of my physical appearance. “Never be afraid of a bully,” mom would always say.

Of course, many bullies remain bullies, and they will always search for prey that appear weaker than themselves. Kids become teenagers, teenager become adults.

And tonight I was thinking how our own president has acted precisely like the person my mother warned me about. It doesn’t seem correct that I have passed down my mother’s wisdom to my own kids, teaching them never to be like our current president. I wonder what bully name the president would call me if I ever disagreed with him? Maybe, if I were lucky enough, he would call me, Little Curly Mike.

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