I saw two lads today in school uniform. One about 12, the other about 14. The elder, bigger boy was ragging the other about by his scruffy greasy hair. I was about 40 metres away when the elder pushed the younger away from him and shouted something at him. The ruffled youngster walked past me scowling and rubbing his head vigourously, obviously in pain.
The lad who had been doing the bullying was now stood by the railings outside my office. I went up to him:
“Excuse me, what were you just doing to that lad?”
“He’s me brother.”
“Your brother? Does that make it alright to hurt him like that?” I received a mumbled response so I continued, “It doesn’t matter what he has done, it’s not right to hurt someone like that. How would you feel if someone bigger than you pushed you around and hurt you just because they were bigger and stronger? Just put yourself in his shoes. It wouldn’t be nice would it?”
“Just think about it in future, ok?”
I walked away. By the time I got into the office I was thinking, “Nathan, you melon. What a stupid line, ‘How would you feel?’ I bet he knows how it feels cus his dad, or step-dad, or big brother does it to him.” I felt totally helpless and appalled at what situation these two lads could be living in. I just wanted to run after the older one, invite him in for a hot chocolate and solve all his problems for him. I looked outside the window, he was gone.