Equality to me means to be treated and respected equally no matter who you are or what you look like. I believe that race, religion and social status, should never play a part in what people say to you or how you are treated. So consider the following hypothetical story told by a student of the bullying he or she encounters everyday...on the school bus.
"It’s 7:40 a.m., I’m waiting for the same old bus to pick me up. The same one I have been riding for five years. The bus comes to a stop, lights flashing, door opens and the driver waves me across the street. As I make my way across and turn towards the door, I let out a heavy sigh and prepare myself for another morning full of disrespect and criticism from my peers.
I walk the three steps up into my own personal hell. It takes less than 3 seconds for the names and insults to pierce my ears. Each word hits like a punch to the gut. I make my way to the first empty seat I see and, as I move to sit down, a student slides his backpack over to say,”No room for you here."
My mind fills with a cross between anger and the urge to break down and cry. “I won’t let them see me cry,” I tell myself as I find a seat that one person has been nice enough to let me sit in. As I sit down, I wonder how kids can be so mean and do they really know how words can make others feel? Do they realize the scars that they leave behind? And most of all, do they know those scars last forever?
I made a promise to myself long ago that I would never make another person feel the way I have felt for so long. I will strive to always be fair and treat others equal. I will stand up for those who are afraid, I will help them change that fear into a feeling of self worth and confidence."
I think if we all really sat back and realized the hurt we are capable of putting on people, we would think twice before we said the things we do and do the things we say. Nobody is perfect, but we can try to be. I think if we all tried to think of others first instead of ourselves, this world would be a much better place. So next time you hear people putting others down, stand up! Say something! All it takes is a little bit from all of us.
Let your conscience guide your thoughts and actions. If we as drivers act this way, it might just rub off on the kids we love so dearly.
Christie is the assistant manager at Brown Bus Company in Nampa, Idaho.