Be who you are.

This story brought me to tears. Not just of the sadness of a little boy whose own parent is being a bully to him, but for the big brother who stands up for his little brother.

I hope that were I in the same position, I'd do the same thing. I know for a fact that my little sister certainly would. I remember my mom getting annoyed phone calls from her school bus driver when she was in elementary school. Her concern was not that it was her fight or not; it was more so that justice be served. She would stand up for the person who she felt was in the right whether or not it was anything to do with her.

I'm fairly certain that I would. I've been the recipient of such bullying behaviour in the past, and I know what it feels like to be tormented by someone much bigger than me, and with so much more power than I have. It's not a comfortable place to be in.

I understand that parenting is the hardest job in the world. I don't deny it. However, there comes a point when good people cannot stand silently by while injustice continues. If a kid has certain tendencies, no amount of your disapproval is going to make them more "manly" or "lady-like". All that's going to happen is that your child will drift further and further away from you, to the point where you aren't an important part of their lives, and you lose your child.

I can tell you unequivocally that the folk who were nasty to me when I was growing up, with demands that I "act more manly" have lost any shred of respect that I had for them, and my regard for them is nonexistent. As an adult, I've grown to realise that those people are petty, insecure, small-minded jerks, who do not deserve my regard.

And that's what you're setting yourself up for when you bully a child into fitting into an ill-suited mould: you're making yourself become unimportant in that person's development. Cry "sissy" long enough, and you will eventually be ignored.

I give major kudos to the big brother in the story for standing in between the bullying father and his sensitive little brother. May all of us have kind, and loving people like that in our lives!
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