This Man Proves It’s Never To Late To Apologize For Bullying Someone
Looking back, I never bullied anyone growing up. I did, however, witness bullying acts that I did not stand up and openly denounce. I saw things happen and didn’t tell a teacher or say a word to defend a classmate being bullied. I am not a shy person and if anyone could have stopped someone from being bullied, I certainly could have. But I chose not to. As an adult now with kids of my own, remembering my lack of action breaks my heart. That is why I can’t imagine how it would feel to grow up knowing you actually had bullied someone. And I can completely understand this man’s desire to express his regret and to apologize for something he did to a fellow classmate long ago.
From Today, we have the story of ChadMichael Morrisette, who received an apology via Facebook for bullying that occurred 20 years ago by way of former classmate, Louie Amundson:
“I was one of maybe two gay guys who were obviously gay. Our demeanors made us visibly, noticeably different than everyone,” Morrisette told TODAY.com. “It wasn’t just Louie who bullied me. It was almost every other guy in the school.”
I am not foolish enough to think that gay kids in school aren’t being bullied now but I would like to think the climate is quite a bit different in 2015 than it must have been for Morrisette 20 years ago. That’s one positive thing we can take away from this story. The other is the wonderful and genuine interaction between Morrisette and his former bully. Amundson contacted Morrisette to apologize and the reason he was prompted to do so will make sense to us all as parents:
In his note, Amundson explained that the apology originated from a talk he had about bullying with his 10-year-old daughter.
“She asked me if I ever bullied anyone and sadly I had to say, ‘yes,'” Amundson wrote.
This moment must have been very sobering for Amundson. We all want our kids to be better than we were, to teach them to be good people. Knowing he had done something so hurtful all those years ago must have compelled him to right that wrong and be authentic in teaching his own child how to treat others. I think this is so beautiful:
Morrisette said he was touched by Amundson’s effort to seek forgiveness. He accepted the apology and thanked him.
“In 20 years you are the only person to apologize to me for being a bully to me when we were younger,” he said in his reply. “I hope you can proudly tell your daughter that you have apologized for it.”
I hope this can serve as an example that not only is it never too late to apologize for hurting someone, but that the person you hurt probably still thinks about it even as an adult. I know I talk to my kids about bullying a lot and now, I plan to tell them about the times I sat back and watched it happen instead of stepping in. Hopefully, I can raise them to be bolder and more aware of doing the right thing than I was. Obviously, it has lasting affects for people throughout their whole lives. I would hate to think my kids ever contributed in any way to someone’s torment.