My husband and I saw “The Greatest Showman” last night. We’d already seen it once before but wanted to see it on the big screen one more time. It’s one of those shows that just doesn’t translate well on TV because it’s a “big” musical production. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.
It’s about P.T. Barnum’s circus. It stars a group of “misfits” and “oddities”, you know, The Bearded Woman, Little People, The Werewolf man, The Dogman, all the people you think of when you think of P. T. Barnum’s circus. Of course, they were all hoaxes but people flocked to his circus anyway although most of them knew none of it was for real.
Of course, people made fun of the performers and there is one musical number where the group sings this song. If you click on the link it will take you to u-tube to view.
On the way home, I asked my husband if he’d ever felt ostracized as a child. He said he had. I asked him about what. He said it was because he was Catholic, he was too quiet, a little “odd”. He didn’t like sports (he played football but only because it was expected.) He said he was teased and made fun of.
I thought about my own childhood. I was always popular with my fellow students. I had good friends in elementary school and high school. I wasn’t a part of the popular group but I was well-liked. I could’ve been popular but I had no way to be a part of school life. My dad worked second shift and we only had the one car. We lived out in the country and so there was that.
For reasons I don’t care to divulge, weekends were a nightmare so I didn’t dare invite friends over to my house. So after school, I was a loner.
Despite all that, I was still popular. I always have been. I’m not bragging. It’s just the way it was and is. I’ve always been friendly and find it easy to talk to people.
But you know what? I felt as much out-of-place as my husband did. But that’s still different from people looking at you and making fun.
I don’t know how that feels.
I imagine it’s awful. In fact, I can’t imagine it at all.
So I had to ask myself, “Have I ever done that?” Made fun of someone just because of how they looked?
I haven’t. Not because I’m so good or anything but because I knew how I felt inside. I always felt out-of-the-loop even when I wasn’t. Maybe that’s the worst kind of bullying, the kind when you bully yourself and call yourself names. I certainly didn’t want to make anyone else feel that way.
When there is nothing visibly wrong on the outside but there’s a lot wrong on the inside, you aren’t equipped with that fight that is evident in the song above.
Instead of feeling empowered and developing an “I’m going to show them” attitude, you just keep the pain inside.
That’s how it was for me for a long time. And even now, sometimes, I can be my worst enemy. Especially if depression is lurking in the shadows.
(Lately, it has been, only lurking though. I’ve been in considerable foot pain again which if you’ve been following me for awhile, you know all about. If not, here’s some links if you’re interested in my journey.
Then there’s a painful hand condition I’m dealing with on top of the back and foot problems. In the span of a week, I’ll have seen a podiatrist, an orthopedic specialist for my hand, and a back doctor. I was pretty discouraged yesterday. Pain does that to a person. I had to remind myself that God is already ahead of me on this road I travel and I can trust Him to help me find some relief and there isn’t any, He’ll give me the grace I need to get through it.)
But back to the subject of our post. While I personally haven’t experienced bullying or teasing, I have a grandson who has Down Syndrome who probably will. I think my heart will break if that happens. And it better not happen when I’m around.
I don’t get how anyone can make fun of anyone else.
I don’t get it. What possesses anyone to do that? I’d like to say it’s because they feel bad about themselves inside so they take it out on others. But I never did. My husband never did. My children never did.
In case you wonder how I know that about my children? It’s because we brought them up that way. We encourage them to hang out with the “unpopular”, the “odd”, those of different ethnicities, etc. And they did. As adults, they both have the biggest hearts now and continue to reach out to those who feel at odds with the world.
It is my personal belief that if we all were kinder to each other if we all learned to look past the rough edges of a person, the world would pretty much be spared of all the ills we presently suffer.
If we’re just nicer to everyone. Period.
You know what I told you about my husband earlier? He is without a doubt the kindest, gentlest, most forgiving person I know. He remembers clearly that pain of his childhood. Frankly, I would love to meet some of those bullies. I would not be so forgiving. I’m jsut saying. You don’t mess with the people I love.
I hope you’ve never been teased or bullied. If you have, I guess I want you to know that I feel really bad about that. And probably what I say next is nothing you haven’t heard before, but you are worthwhile. Everyone is. That isn’t me talking, that’s what God says. I couldn’t begin to list all the Bible verses that say that but God does love you, no matter how bad you’ve been made to feel. In fact, He loves those who are the outcasts because He was one Himself.
Can you even imagine? The Son of God was teased, harassed, bullied, and tortured. And yet He died loving those very same people. So God understands your pain. He saw what happened to his own son.
Pretty incredible, huh?
I hope you have a good day and you can find it within yourself to reach out to God if you haven’t already. There is no formula, no right words. Just start talking to Him, speaking from an honest open heart and the rest will come.
God bless and I hope you have a really good day.