Were You Bullied … or a Bully? A Lesson in Forgiveness for Lent

bullied-videoBy Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

This TED Talk is one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen. Whether you’ve ever been bullied – or done the bullying yourself – you will be moved by it … and perhaps be changed.

I know I was.

I was bullied in junior high. I was not a girl who spent hour before school in front of the mirror trying to get those high 80’s bangs. I was happy with pulling my hair back in a ponytail.

So my bangs hung flat on my head while a simple Catholic school uniform completed the picture. I am shy. And back then, I was not the type to try to push the rules.

I was ripe for teasing … and I got it.

The teasing I received hurt my feelings a lot. I remember the girl who did the teasing, of course. When I ran into her years later in college, I couldn’t believe how nice she seemed. She didn’t seem to remember the hurtful things she had said; the names she had called me.

This TED Talk helped me look at my own experience again. While I long ago discovered who I am – and who God wants me to be – watching this helped me remember that we all are at risk of feeling unloved and unlovable.

To overcome the damage done by bullying – whether we’ve been bullied or done the bullying – we need the loving heart of God. There, we know we are supported, cherished and able to be who we are called to be.

This Lent, let’s grow our own hearts for those who are struggling with bullying. Let’s forgive others, and accept forgiveness for ourselves. Let’s continue to become who God wants us to be.

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