A wonderful story about courage from a friend on FB

joann23456November 2, 2012

Posted with his permission:

In preparing for our confirmation class this weekend on courage, I found myself thinking of a boy I went to junior high and high school with named Carl.

He was a year behind me, a swimmer and a jock. When I was in my early teens, we rode a bus together, and I was mercilessly bullied. Whether the bullies knew or sensed I was gay, I can't know -- I just know they made my life hell. And while people who know me now may be surprised by this, I was very timid and way too terrified to fight or push back, thinking it would just draw more attention to me.

Carl stood up for me. He would talk with me about standing up for myself; he would tell others to back off. And while I can't remember much of what I did last year -- or last month -- I still remember him vividly, even though we weren't really friends. He was just a very good and decent young man who stood up for others.

So, two days ago, I searched on line and found a man by his name, around the right age, still living near where we grew up, and I called and left a message. How weird, eh?

He called back last night, and I thanked him. He didn't remember this, of course; I don't think he remembered me. But I thanked him for trying to help, for giving me hope, for not making me feel as alone. I thanked him for being brave and good.

And I told him that when I grow up, I want to be like him.

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sleeperblues

That made me cry! As a kid who was bullied, it resonates. It sounds like your friend grew up to be a stronger individual because (or maybe in spite) of the bullying, as did I. Carl sounds like a wonderful, compassionate person.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 10:32AM
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pudgeder

That is lovely!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 9:00PM
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joann23456

Sleeperblues, I think it his me so hard because my sister was badly bullied in junior high school, and it affects her to this day.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 7:27AM
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joyfulguy

Hi Joann,

Thanks for sharing the story.

And thanks for making the effort to offer your appreciation and thanks, with testimony as to how much effect it had had in your life, to the one who offered the help.

Such a message may encourage him, suppose he may have been somewhat disappointed in having done such recently but having it turn out badly, to persist in such helpful ways.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 3:34PM
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joann23456

Ole Joyful, I don't think he was disappointed at all. He was happy to have found the right person and to have been able to express his gratitude.

Sounds to me as though his friend Carl was a kind, decent person who treated everyone well, so he didn't remember being particularly kind to my friend.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 11:16PM
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