One night I was talking to my young daughter about bullying.
I told her there may come a time when she will encounter the “mean girl” who will try to affix some derogatory label to her.
If that should ever happen, I instructed my daughter to laugh in the bully’s face and walk away with her head held high.
I explained to her that bullies are acting in that manner because they are struggling with their own demons and insecurities. They are likely very unhappy individuals who are possibly even being bullied themselves.
My daughter became very upset. She said, “if that’s the case, then I would feel sorry for the bully. I wouldn’t want to laugh at her, I’d want to try to help her.”
I learned – the hard way – that my daughter’s is a very noble, yet flawed solution. Because bullies have a tendency to mistake kindness for weakness, she could find herself becoming an ever bigger target and enduring greater abuse.
My daughter’s response had me pondering. Being merciful shouldn’t mean having to forsake our own happiness for another’s.
Unfortunately, there is a very fine line between compassion and sacrifice.
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