A flock of crows swoops over the deck and careens across the yard in scraggly formation. The leader banks then lands in a tree just below our yard. One-by-one the rag-tag squadron joins him.
I recognize these guys. They’re the same bunch that strutted across our yard not long ago, laying claim to our neighborhood as surely I do. All the head honcho lacks is a cigar and a cap with a feather to transform him into Jim Crow, boss of that bunch that made fun of a baby elephant with over-sized ears.
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However, it wasn’t long before they joined Timothy Mouse in his crusade to help the little guy find the courage to make the most of what he had been given. After all, what he really needed was just a bit of confidence.
The rest is history—showbiz history—because Dumbo, the Flying Elephant, became the star of the circus. Dumbo has always been one of my favorite movies. I was surprised to read that it’s older than I am. Walt Disney released it in1941. With its timeless message, the story speaks to every generation. You can order the 70thAnniversary Edition by clicking on the link above.
I hope today’s kids know it well because, shamefully, bullying is still a real problem. Some folks take up the ugly habit in nursery school and carry it all the way into adulthood. No one ever took my lunch money or called me rude names to my face, but I’ve been bullied a time or two.
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My worst experience was on a job when I got a promotion and a disappointed woman stirred up some coworkers to take sides. It wasn’t pleasant, but I survived. I will always be grateful to the lady who told me she’d rather be my friend than hang out with the little group that trailed after the ringleader. You know there’s always a ring leader.
When I remember that time, I remind myself that bullies act out of insecurity and pain. It doesn’t make what they do right, but it can help us to forgive. I hope it made me more sensitive to recognizing the subtle forms adult bullying takes.
I want to be like Timothy Mouse. I want to not only stop bullying when I see it, but also encourage others to recognize and make the most of the gifts within them.
Everyone is gifted in some way.
What about you? Have you been bullied? I hope not. But if so, you know the pain that comes from it. Let’s all step up and stop such harassment when we see it, whatever form it takes.
When we do, we’ll probably make a friend for life.
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.Ps. 41:1
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