When I was born, I was smaller than average children and even smaller than my younger sister. I always wore the same clothes because I never grew out of them, and had been constantly teased about my height every single year.
I was used to hearing names like “Shorty” and “Little one” as jokes but one day of my third grade led me to realize one of the most important lessons of my life.
I was playing with my friends on a sunny day during recess. It was my favorite time of the day because I could relax and have fun. But that day was different. I was playing with my friends until these tall fifth graders pushed me aside and started to taunt me.
They teased, “Hey midget! How’s the view down there?”
I started to run away but they tripped me and immediately, I ran into a pole, head first. I fell to the ground, shocked at what just happened. I froze and could not hear anyone around me.
Tears began to slide down my cheeks, but I was confused about why they were falling. Was it because of the immense pain from the headache or from the emotional pain inside me? I snapped back to reality as my teacher, Mr. Zimmerman carried me to the nurse’s office.
The nurse gave me some ice and told me to sit down. “Do you want to rest for a while?” she asked. I replied that I wanted to go home but instead she just sent me back to class. I walked back to my classroom and thankfully, everyone was still at recess except Mr. Zimmerman.
He told me to sit down and began telling me a story
“I was a short kid myself and I used to get teased a lot just like you. I am still short to this day but you know what I have learned? To accept myself for who I am. I am not perfect, but this is the best I can be. Do not let anyone’s words bring you down because of your appearance, okay?”
His encouragement was so touching and true. If you accept and love yourself for who you are, there is nothing to be discriminated for.
I went home that day with a mind full of thoughts. My parents were obviously upset about what had happened but they were more surprised at how I had made it through the whole day.
I told them I could not have done it without Mr. Zimmerman. He gave me the best advice I could have ever gotten that day. I could finally be proud of who I was despite my miniature height.
If it were not for his ecouragement, I do not know what I would’ve done and where I would be today. Thanks to him now I know that the only person that can let others get the best of you is yourself.
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