Spiritual Fiction posted April 29, 2014


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Short Story-non-entered contest entry

Seeing Through Clear Eyes

by michaelcahill

















Sometimes, just standing there and doing nothing is more wrong. I knew this. I knew this inside of me in a place that couldn't be covered by rationalization. How easy it is to point a finger at a bully and condemn. Isn't that what you do? If you see a stronger person picking on a weaker person, don't you point a finger and think, that is wrong? I do that.
 
Richard wouldn't be a boy that would set records for being fat. You couldn't say that ugly would properly describe him. Stupid would not be a measure of his intellect. However, he did not score high marks in any of those categories. It made him a target in the setting known as the seventh grade.
 
I called him "Richard". Most of his other classmates called him "Dick". I didn't consider him a close friend. He may have considered me his only friend. Nicknames come about based on a person's attributes. A kid named Richard might be nicknamed "Ricky". "Ricky" would usually be the name of a popular kid. "Rich" of "Ritchie" would be names that indicated a level of positive acceptance. "Dick" could have a positive tough guy conotation or, as was the case with my friend, a negative one. When they called my friend, "Dick" they had in mind a particular part of the male anatomy. It was meant to mock and degrade him.
 
I happened to be a loner by nature. I possessed physical and mental prowess that did not lend themselves easily to bullies. I did not confront nor did I back down. It would not be wise to test the level to which I would take those traits. That became known and it made my life easy, both as a young person growing up and as an adult later in life. It would have to be called a gift.
 
Richard, on this particular day, stood with his back to the wall of the cafeteria. Seven of the more surly boys in our class decided that it would be great fun relentlessly harassing him. They, en masse, pointed out that he carried extra unnecessary weight. They pointed out that he might have difficulty finding a mate to spend his life with, being short-changed in attractiveness. They alleged that there could be little chance of him graduating to the eighth grade with his limited intellect. Indeed, it might be years before he would leave grammar school, if ever.
 
I knew that standing there, and quietly watching this put me in a category that ranked beneath the bullies that actively made Richard's life miserable. I knew it, and the reaization did not find a comfortable home in my heart.
 
I walked over to where Richard and the seven bullies were and stood between them. I spoke to the bullies. "You have no reason to bother my friend. If you want to bother somebody, bother me. That is, if any of you think you are capable of it."
 
To my surprise- they quickly turned and left. I looked back at Richard, but I no longer saw him. A man stood there and said to me, "As you do for the least of them, you do for me".


Recognized


Inspired by the prompt "Disguised". Tired of not having my readers see any of my writing. No one seems to read the contest entries.

Though not an actual event, this is based on what my thinking is when I intervene when someone is being bullied. I always feel that I have "back up" when I step in. I see no difference in participating and doing nothing. Perhaps doing nothing is worse. Knowing it is wrong and doing nothing seems worse than simple pure stupidity and weakness. Sorry to be so preachy. I'm no saint by any stretch.
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