—Grace Under Fire Requires Reality Not Delusion

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This is tragic but absurd.  It is also out of touch with reality.  Such massive deformity is not merely a “birth mark”.  It would be just as cruel for him to think of himself as normal.  Life is not fair.  The solution is not to force the world at gunpoint to enter your delusion with you, but to make the best of the hand that you are dealt.  While certainly children should be properly raised not to make fun of such unfortunate people—by telling them, if you think such evil thoughts and behave so immorally God may MAKE YOU just like that person or worse... birth defects are not the only thing that can do such things, but so can disease and accidents.

There was a kid a grade or two below me in high school... he looked even worse, 2 or 3 x worse, than this fellow... everyone of course made fun of him (despite this being a Christian school)... one day at gym we had to qualify for pull ups and situps and such.  He was not a powerhouse, but physically able.  After he completed the chin ups and everyone else was mocking him, he walked by and I said, “Good job, _____”.  His response to me...?  “Shut up Balaicius, you woman!”  Wow.  I’d never said an unkind word to him.  This shows inner character... of which he lacked as much as outer countenance.  He acted like a rabid dog, without even thinking that I was not mocking him—I never had.  Maybe he did not want pity or encouragement either; or maybe he thought I was mocking him, being so used to it, he just assumed—wrongly (and without asking for clarification if he was confused).  I didn’t say it loud for everyone to hear, but those nearby certainly hear it.  

I myself was made fun of most of my life for being short... it was crippling... but I worked harder to prove myself... but that still did not change reality... it was embarrassing not to be able to ride certain rides in early high school because I did not come up to the cartoon character!s finger... (I had a finger for him! ha...! if I was that type of person; which I was not: but I have a sense of humor).  If I went places where people didn’t know me, because I was short, they thought that I would be an inferior athlete (rather than the uncommonly exceptional one that I was), and I was usually picked nearest to last—UNTIL they saw me in action.  THEN, after the game (especially if I had played for the OTHER team, they would come semi-sheepishly, semi-excited and ask if I wanted to play for them).

Around those who knew me, I was always one of the first chosen.  Likewise, there were some sports even at which I excelled, such as in basketball; though those who did not know me and had not seen me play, would simply imagine that there was no way that I could compete.  There are some shorter basketball players, but they are rare.  I could compete with those 8 to 10 inches taller than me, but over that, it required thinking outside the box.  I could shoot with either hand, even three-pointers, and I could out-jump most anyone, except the very tallest.  I could touch the rim; and in college, when having fun in the dorm parking lot where we set up a 9-foot rim, I could double-hand behind the back slam it, and I could cradle it and float from about 10 feet and dunk it.  People stopped and took notice of me in any sport, since, being shorter, what I did was a greater accomplishment.  It wasn’t easy thought.  It took giving everything, and then a little more, if possible, and ignoring all the snide comments and doubful looks.  On two occasions, once in high school and once in college, I went with a friend or unit mate to try out for their softball team.  I heard all the talking when the saw me.  Everyone in the outfield moved in as if I was a girl.  Both times my friend, who was going to pitch so I could take some practice bats, said, “Show ‘em what you’ve got, Bob”.  They all moved back, once I started smacking the balls over the fence (not that backing up helped) and then I would mess with them switch batting, and jumping back and forth before the field had time to rotate.  Of course, after the game, they all came up and asked if I would play on their team—and on both ocassions I took them to the championships, whereas, before, in their history, they had never won a trophy.  I remember in one such game, when the people I knew, but who had never seen me play, said their roster was full.  I asked if they minded if I played for the other team.  They said go ahead.  I then at third base knocked down every ball hit anywhere near me, and was knocking the cover off the ball at bat; and being very quick and very fast, little got by me and I usually covered two positions, either intervening or backing up the other player (something that I even did in 6th grade and impressed the elementary school gym coach who told me to try out for the baseball team the following year).  I will never forget, the mother of one of the main players on the other team started calling out all through the game, “________, you need to get Bob on your team.  ________, Bob is killing you all”.  Of course, after the game, they somehow found room on their roster for me; and they were one of the teams I took to a championship, though they had never before won a trophy.  I performed some incredible feats no one had ever seen before.  God blessed me in other ways, to make up for the loss in others.

Regardless, my point in all this, is that I did not demand that the world change to cater to me.  While I was hurt how others treated me, I did not respond in kind; nor did I “hate” them.  Furthermore, I would never think of calling the police to report “hate crimes” because someone made fun of me—AND I WOULD NEVER counsel anyone else to do the same.  Even though there was one evil-hearted snob at my Christian high school who liked to mock me and sing, “short people got no reason to live” and since my dad was a well-know Christian psychiatrist with a radio program, she thought she was clever in repeating, “the shrink’s son shrank some” over and over.  Regardless, I never treated her in kind.  

Of course, being short, the girls whom I might have liked to get to know were not interested in someone shorter than them... but despite all this, I never turned into the uni-bomber or a hateful person... and I did my best to stand up for the even-greater downtrodden.  Though short, after working hard as a carpenter and developing real muscles and strength that made people stand back and take notice*—doing things that they could not even dream of doing—no one made fun of me anymore, at least, not to my face (except the greatest bullies).  If I stood up for someone else, others backed down.  But I have never been in a fight in my entire life.  Sometimes merely the pretense of readiness to fight, if need be, prevents a fight, if you give the person a graceful way out, where they can also save face and even “laugh it off”.  This, is, of course, only in dealing with people who have a half-way working conscience; not with savages with no conscience whatsoever.  True sociopaths who would kill you for your tennis sneakers or because they don’t like the way you look.  

I remember in my senior year, one girl in my class wrote something in my yearbook at the end of the year, to the effect, “Thank you so much for being so kind and helping me in study hall with my schoolwork when I did not understand... I can’t believe you were so kind to me, even after how cruelly we made fun of you all those years”.  Those whose hearts and minds have never truly been regenerated and transformed, full of bitterness and hatred and insecurity of their own, do not realize the supreme HONOR that it is to forgive someone; nor how God will hold them accountable for every deed, whether public or private, and every secret thought and idle word.

[* A friend of mine from whom I learned carpentry, he was a Norwegian-German from Brooklyn, whose father was a builder, he was 6’2” and about 220 lbs.  I was about 155 lbs. at the time.  His dad always taught him, “Don’t carry 1 when you can carry 2; don’t carry 2 when you can carry 3”, so sometimes we got into a little competition—and others around had their eyes grow big and jaws hit the floor.  One time he carried 2 bundles (80 lbs. each) of regular roofing shingles up the ladder to the roof.  I said, “If you can carry 2 I can carry 3.”  He said, “Show me.”  I got 3 bundles onto my shoulder by myself, and inched up the ladder like a granny, but I made it to the roof and he had to pull the top bundle off... but I made it; not as easily as he maked it look with 2, which was 60 lbs. lighter than his own weight, but I was carrying 95 lbs. more than my own weight.  I’ve carried heavier loads before, but not up a ladder.  I’ve carried stacks of 5/4” board, 10” inch wide 10’ long soffit, in a stack so high I could barely get my fingers to grip the top board; and very wet pressure-treated 4x4 or 6x6, 8’ long stacked 3 wide and 3 or 4 high; and a roll of old, very thick, very heavy solid galvinized chainlink fence so big I could barely get my hand on the top and barely get it on my shoulder, and barely stand up from a squatting position (and it left a waffle impression on my shoulder for about a week).  I used to be able to snatch (one, solid motion from the ground over the head without bent elbow) my own weight (150 lbs.) on a full length barbell—using one hand (and I could do it with my right or left and even toss it back and forth one to the other).  After some experience, I walked both up and down the ladder like was a staircase, not even using my hands, even carrying lumber or bundles of shingles (but never had any desire to be a firefighter); but you have to be very careful with workboots that the metal ilet hooks that strap the laces don’t get caught on the inside of the flange of the ladder, then going down, you are in a little trouble.  Walking the top plate of a wall before the roof trusses was on was child’s play, though 3.5 inches wide and a story or two up... but I could never imagine doing what those gymnasts do on the beam... that’s insane.]

While it is sad that children often make fun of others for being short, fat, etc., it is not something that should be criminalized.  Such criminalization will be a non-stop slippery slope—and who is to decide what is “fair game” and what is not...?  Christians who hold to traditional moral values are now the ones that are mocked and discriminated against.  Why is that not a “hate crime”?  This is OUR nation.

Regardless, encouraging people to report to the police as a hate crime anyone who makes fun of someone else for a facial feature is draconium absurdum.  He should get the Nobel Prize for “Snowflake delirium”.  Has he stopped to think that were it not for his deformity and cruel people making fun of him, that maybe he would not have had the internal pressure to become a success?  Does he not know “to err is human, forgive, divine”...?  does he not know hot to be a “better man” than others...?  Apparently not.  Character rules by example in matters that are not actual immorality / crime.  COWARDS and MENTALLY IMBALANCED and INFERIOR people must rule “by fiat”... and must have “Imperial decrees” to “declare” them as “equal”—when they are not.  Were they not inferior, there would be no need for some legislative board, police powers, and judiciary to demand that everyone “recognize” them as “equal”.  Diamonds are made from coal under intense pressure.  However, his snowflakism shows that maybe his success is not really that noteworthy.  Maybe it was sympathy or pity (or mandate) that defines his “success”.