A couple of weeks ago, many students came up to me and poured their hearts out about being mocked and laughed at.
One 15 year old expressed how they were tired of so many bad things happening in their life. And that they had had enough.
Another 12 year old expressed how they felt disturbed at being laughed at when reading.
One of them asked me how I would feel if I were in their shoes.
Guess what, I have been in their shoes. Since the age of 7, I was laughed at by schoolmates. Many considered me as weird especially because I like to read aloud. Until today, I can hear the snickers by classmates when I recited Iqra' aloud to myself. Until now, memories of being accepted just to lead the English project, and cast aside after is on replay in my mind. I can still remember those days where I yearned to be accepted, but never really was. I lived through it all though.
So here is what I told them:
Shit happens. The older we get, the shittier it is. And shit will happen whether we like it or not. What makes a difference is the way we handle it. Succumb and we will continue feeling down and out. Ignore, and we can only become stronger. So why let it get to us? Why let one incident ruin the entire day? Feel sad. Feel disappointed. Feel angry. Feel frustrated. Take a moment to feel all these. And then snap out of it and move on. Focus on the best the day has to offer. Cause there is a lot more to look forward to.