One day, when I was about 8 years old, a little boy who lived across the street from me decided to throw a rock at my back.
I ran home crying in pain.
I told my mom what had happened and showed her just where the rock hit.
When my mom saw the welt on my back, she became enraged.
She said, “I want you to go back outside. You need to go to his house and show his mother your back. They need to see what he did to you.”
The last thing I wanted to do was to go back out there, let alone, to lift up my shirt to show them the bruise on my back.
Nonetheless, that is exactly what I did.
And, after pulling my shirt back down, I walked back home with an apology in tow.
It wasn’t until years later did I realize the significance of that day.
My mom was right. In order for people to understand the consequences of their actions, they need to look directly at the damage that they’ve caused.
Some even need the image etched in their minds as a constant reminder not to inflict pain. I know. I know. It’s surprising just how many people require visual cues simply to act with decorum.
Of course, I no longer need to lift up my shirt and expose my back in order to show my wounds.
They can see them in my backbone that their bruises help form.
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