Lessons from High School & Facebook

This past week has been very odd. My online world and my in person world have been co-mingling and it makes me feel off balance. There was a Troll on my Facebook “High School graduating class of 82” group and he stirred up a lot of people. This caused a lot of people to suddenly start talking in the group. It’s been interesting watching people interact, and as I said yesterday it brought me sad news about an old friend and also brought me a reconnection with another one.  One of people I don’t know posted a link to his blog and it’s interesting and he’s a good writer, so that’s cool. He’s talking about training for Ironman competitions and you know I love people who talk about training. Maybe he’ll talk about breathing one day and I’ll figure out why I have so much trouble breathing. So I’ve reaped some benefits from this sudden burst of activity thanks to Mr. Troll.
Today I saw this comment:
“…and I should add I fear those people today. I was a jerk back then sometimes and i have had to ask forgiveness from a lot of people. A lot. Lots of humility these days.”
It made me start thinking. I’m afraid I don’t remember the person who made this comment. I have a bad memory for people to begin with and I think maybe the chemo & radiation took a few more little chunks out of my memory. Her name sounds familiar but nothing other than that. My first thought when I read her comment was “hmm, I see a few other people on this page that need to be making some amends as well”.  I was never really bullied in school. I only have one really clear memory of someone being mean to me as a teenager and that was a girl in 8th Grade who was harassing me one day while I was walking down the stairs. She was amusing herself and some friends that were with her. Nothing terrible, but I made sure I avoided her for the next five years. She’s on that facebook page.
I also have is a very clear memory of some of the girls (at that time they were girls!) harassing and bullying other people.  We had a girl in our school who was mentally disabled and she was a favorite target. One of the people on the facebook group was merciless and seemed to get great amusement out of picking on her. I certainly learned a couple of lessons from her that I’ve carried through life.
1. Mob mentality is one of the scariest things to witness.
2. One of our duties as humans is to try and help and protect those who cannot protect themselves.
That last one has stuck with me through my entire life and is really a guiding force in many things I do. I think a part of me is always trying to make up for what I witnessed back then and was unable to do anything about. (that sounds very melodramatic but it was really just plain and simple teasing and bullying)  I am always rooting for the underdog and nothing makes me get loud faster than watching someone be treated unfairly or as if they do not matter as much as someone else. I think it’s one of the few triggers for me to get really mean. I have a pretty good talent for reducing people to the size I think they should be and it usually only comes out as a retaliation for watching them treat someone else badly. Now that I’ve typed that I really should work on that and find another way. Damnit.
I guess I don’t really have a point to this soliloquy. Just that I remember and I appreciate knowing that at least one person later realized that she was one of those people and has made different choices in her life.
We can never leave without canary talk!
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Little girl bird has barely left the eggs today. Probably because it’s so damn cold! I have a heating pad on top of their cage and an electric space heater close by to try and keep them at least at a reasonable temperature. I can’t believe my birds decided to lay little chickie eggs in the coldest month in many decades. Hopefully within the next week we’ll see at least one little canary hatch and be beautifully ugly and healthy. I googled pictures of baby canaries and they just aren’t very cute!
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3 thoughts on “Lessons from High School & Facebook

  1. One of my big regrets is not speaking up for a fellow student at university when she was being bullied by a teacher. He must have been a Nazi during the War. The cowardice shames me.

    Do not birds manufacture their own heat from the food they eat? Do not the mother’s body keep the eggs warm? Just thoughts.

    1. It’s the people who never regret that kind of thing that you have to watch out for.
      Yes, I know they do and the eggs are probably fine, bit its so incredibly record breakingly cold that it makes me nervous! They’re just so little.

  2. I read this right after you posted it and I have been ruminating on it all evening. It is odd that most of the people who picked on me were boys. Okay now one girl popped into my head. I’m sure it bothered me but I had friends and in some ways I was just oblivious. I wonder what happened to some of those people. I wonder if they grew up or if they continued to be bullies.

    I can’t wait to see what happens with those eggs!

Thoughts?