It is funny how my children’s books tend to have something from my past inside. I don’t plan it that way but that’s the way it works out. My latest book, Dainty O’Toole and the Golden Rule tells of a new girl at school being bullied. I went through this in sixth grade. I was the new girl and the school bully did seek me out. I never understood why.
I pretty much kept to myself and tried to stay out of everyone’s way. After all, it was only sixth grade. Every day, after we ate lunch, we had to go into the school yard and wait for the bell to ring. This was the first year for integration between two schools where I was at and there were a lot of issues with the kids because of that. Even though I was new and not native to either school, one boy decided to approach me to cause problems.
I did not want any part of all their issues between these two schools and I told him so. He couldn’t see how much I was scared and shaking inside when I stood up to him. He thought I was really gutsy. Maybe I was but that is not what I was feeling. After that day, for some crazy reason, he liked me and called me his friend. No one else messed with me because he would not let them.
This is what happens to Dainty O’Toole. The school bully, Tom, picks on her to the point she has had enough and stands up for herself. But Dainty remembers the Golden Rule that God has given us in Matthew 7:12 and turns to Him for strength in dealing with Tom.
I do not remember turning to God that day I stood up to the bully, but I know He was there with me. God tells us in Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” What bullies are in your life that you need to pray for?
Dainty O’Toole and the Golden Rule gives us examples of what not to do and what to do when dealing with a bully. School may be out for this year, but life lessons are always in.