Bullying is a topic that's getting a lot of attention lately, yet it's still a problem. It crosses all boundaries of race, religion, gender and age. Bullying also comes in many forms - emotional, cyber, physical and verbal.
Josh found a way to climb out of the perils of being bullied.
After his father died, Josh had pictures hanging in his locker of his dad that some other students tore down as a means to harass and bully him. Josh felt alone, trying to figure out life on his own. He withdrew socially, and even if people tried to include him, he felt like an outsider.
His mom decided to move to a bigger city from the smaller town they lived; taking a leap to try to give her son a fresh start. Josh hoped he would be seen the same as everyone else.
In trying to share who he really was, Josh began holding doors open for others. The kids started calling him "the door man." At first the other students thought it was strange, but soon they looked forward to Josh and his smile and daily greetings.
"The first few weeks when I started doing it, they were kind of shocked. Not many people hold doors, right? But after that, people started to open up to me. Opening a door is more than a physical act. It's like putting yourself out there, getting to know people, making them feel comfortable, making them feel welcome. Opening doors - it gives people hope that people care."
Not only did he make a difference in his own life, but Josh also changed others' lives. The kindness was contagious, and other students wanted to start doing things for others. "...he changed things in the school, and he was a changed Josh." The school gave him a door signed by everyone to show their appreciation.
Josh went on to become prom king and later a motivational speaker to help others navigate bullying and learn to be themselves.
Josh is proof that we can take the negative things in our lives and turn them into positive moments, not just for ourselves but to help others, too.
Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen