This question is listed in several blog challenges. I suppose I could be cliché and say to rid the world of war and have world peace. Really? We all really want that, don’t we? (But then, why is that such a challenge if we all want it? Another post and another time!)

It took me no time at all to answer this question in my mind — literally — just seconds. And it’s a hot topic right now … BULLYING. It breaks my heart to hear about 12-year-old babies committing suicide because they just couldn’t take the bullying any longer.

Were you bullied as a kid? I was in my first or second year of high school — by a girl one grade ahead of me. I honestly can’t even remember her name. I have literally blocked out huge segments of my youth!

The only time I saw this girl was on the bus ride home. But that was enough.

I was a loner back then and would sit in a seat by myself if at all possible. I’d gone to a parochial school through the 8th grade and I was sheltered. I was shy. This girl took shameless advantage of all that.

The feeling in my stomach when I would see her would be deep, dark, abysmal. I just wanted to sit as far into the corner of the seat as possible and become invisible. But it didn’t stop her taunts and the other kids laughing at the situation.

When I would get really stressed out about the situation or if there was a week she was especially mean, my girlfriend Deb would ride my bus for emotional support. I don’t remember the logistics of how SHE got home, but we obviously made it work. Because that’s what girlfriends do for each other!

Kids can mean and cruel. And it’s not fun. I’m not sure what is missing in their life to cause them to have the need to feel superior, but it must be something.

But what is even worse than kid bullies is when ADULTS are bullies. They’re everywhere! They’re at work. They’re driving cars. They’re pushing grocery carts. They’re in our churches. They’re in our families.

So often if you have a different opinion than another person does and voice that opinion, you get an eye roll. You get a head shake. You get talked down to as if you’re that kid on the school bus again. You’re called narcissistic because it’s obviously about you if you don’t agree.

In my opinion (hah! There I go having an opinion!), that makes THEM the narcissists.

We all live different lives. We’ve all grown up in different circumstances. And that affects our world view. This would be a boring world if we all felt the same way about everything.

But the bullies have the need to be condescending anyway. They feel superior. They feel smarter. They feel bigger. Their way or the highway!

Over the past few years I’ve been on a life-changing journey. I am choosing to bully the bully. I’m calling them out and washing them from my life. It is what it is. I’ve chosen a different path that includes positive thinking and positive people.

I’m not saying my opinions are always right. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone. I’m not saying I’m perfect.

I am flawed.

But the difference is that I now recognize that. I don’t want to be flawed — or as flawed as I have been — anymore.

Yes, it’s a struggle. Sometimes it’s a daily struggle. But I’m more aware. If I find myself gossiping I will tell myself, “Lisa, stop that!” — often out loud!

So if you’re reading this post and you’ve rolled your eyes, you’re probably thinking I’m narcissistic. But if you’re a bully then we’re probably not as close as we once were, are we?

As a side note, the following year the high school bully and I still rode the same bus. The first time I saw her, my stomach immediately started to churn. But she started to talk to me and acting like we’d been friends forever. I recall vividly another girl saying, “I thought you didn’t like her.” And she replied, “That was last year.” Go figure! At least moving forward I didn’t swallow bile every day before climbing into the bus!

So I ask … Have you ever been bullied? Or are you a bully?