From time to time parents share their children’s experiences with me. I hear about heartbreak, best friend break ups, frustrations with siblings, and of course bullying. Recently, Rosie, a mom from Texas, sent me a letter her 12 year old son wrote for a school assignment. I love it for its honesty, self-reflection and self-acceptance. Imagine how much better we’d all be if we could follow his example.  If you have children in elementary or middle school, read it together and ask them what they think.

Dear Past, Thank you for all the lessons, Dear future, I am now ready.

In the past, I had always wanted to be popular to hang around with the cool kids. I had always tried to do different things to impress them. From trying to impress them with knowledge, which most of the time worked, to eating the fastest, which also worked. Despite all of this, I never succeeded; due to people always bullied me. Most of the time, people joined in, because the bullying was cool. Another thing that brought me down was my petite knowledge of sports. I tried getting into sports at one point, but it just wasn’t my thing. I am more a sitting down kind of guy, usually studying and working and occasionally watching a movie show or playing a video game. Because of the kind of person I was, I did not have many friends like me, and because of this, most people did not say anything about the bullying. Sometimes at home, I would cry by myself silently, and I was usually a little bit depressed. The past has shown me that I shouldn’t try to be popular or cool, I should just be myself. In middle school, I decided to be myself, and now I have a multitude of kind friends and teachers who encourage my studying and small personal projects. Ever since middle school I have been a happier and hardworking person.

M