"Yes! I finally have enough money to buy the newest action figure! This is going to be awesome!"
Sam was so excited he couldn't contain all the electric currents inside of him making him move in impulsive dancing. He loves collecting action figures and creating his own world at home. It's all he can do to escape.
When you have a bully, you try to avoid him and run as much as possible. When the bullies live with you, there's nowhere you can turn and no one who can truly protect you.
Sam took the bus and went to the department store by himself. He uses public transportation to go to school, so even as an elementary school student, it's not hard.
The department store has a glamour his home doesn't. Everything always smells nice and looks quite clean. And all the people are dressed in designer clothing with smiles on their faces. Sam never feels like he fits in.
He went straight to the toy department and saw that action figure he was looking for. He ran up to the register and dumped all the coins and notes onto the counter. It was just the right amount, the exact price.
He took the action figure and ran back to the bus stop. It seemed like forever waiting for that bus and Sam kept peeking inside his bag at the action figure inside. With every peek, that excitement came rolling through his stomach and up his body, rolling into his smile that wouldn't fade from his face.
Even what seems like forever will come. And that bus did come and he made it back to his room and he tuned out everything else to focus on what he had in his bag. He ripped it open and held it in his hands. That's when the voice beckoned through the apartment.
"Hey! Where's the money Mom left for us to buy dinner?" His brother slammed through his door and stared at him with a face full of rage.
Fear set in. All the excitement over his action figure left him in an instant and he tried to think of a way out. You see, he took that money to buy his action figure, not thinking about what his brother and sister would eat later. So he lied, "it wasn't me," because he was scared, because he knew what happened last time, and the time before that, and the time before that, and because he knew what would happen this time. Yes, he was wrong, but there's nothing he could have done to deserve that. His brother destroyed that action figure that day and left marks all across Sam's body.
It's one small story out of millions and they never end with happy endings. If you've been bullied, you know you carry those scars with you the rest of your life. Sometimes you forget them, sometimes they haunt your nightmares, waking you up in the middle of the night crying out for someone to comfort you, and they always affect every relationship you have with friends and co-workers.
I've been bullied and because of it, I've bullied, too. If you have any power or authority over those with less, please share. Give up some of your power and give it to them. Give them strength and courage and most of all, healing. Sam needs it. He's searching. He's hoping. He's lost and confused. Show him what true power looks like and change the fate of a generation.