Do you know where your remote is?

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I spoke to a school recently and I had a sophomore in high school ask me if I had ever been bullied. My answer was no. That seemed to surprise everybody in the auditorium. What might be more surprising to you is that it’s true.

Everyone was always nice to me. I don’t know if this is because they genuinely liked me or if they were afraid. I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that there is a lot of fear out there towards me and the other people with handicaps. Fear of the unknown I guess.

I think one of the main reasons I was never bullied was because I was vocal. If someone had wanted to push me somewhere I didn’t want to go, there wasn’t much I could physically do to stop them. No one ever really tried. I think this is mostly because everywhere I went the authority figures, teachers or older people were always my friends.

If someone had ever tried I would have been very loud and vocal about the fact that I was not a fan of being moved without my permission, and someone around  would have come to my aid. Evie has told me that I am the loudest, most opinionated man she has ever met, bar none. I think most of the people that know me would say the same thing.

I think it comes from the fact that someone in my position has to be able to communicate well because if we are in public there’s a pretty good chance that we will require assistance of some type from others around us. I don’t like it, but that’s just a fact of my life. Because of this, if I don’t like something or don’t want to do something, I’m pretty loud and obvious about it.

I think that’s the key to bullies. You have to make your desires known, and make them known loudly. Preferably to somebody in authority.

I know lots of people, especially young people want to handle their own business, and don’t want to be seen as unable to take care of themselves. If you are one of those young people reading this. Take it from a guy who can’t take care of himself. Like it or not, at some point you are going to have to ask for help from others to be successful.

I truly believe that human beings are not designed to work alone. Maybe that’s just because my circumstances don’t really give me an option to try to work alone. There are many times in my day, whether it’s getting dressed, or going to the restroom, or showering that I wish I didn’t have to ask for help. In each of those situations however, I don’t really have a choice. If you are being bullied, say something. In many cases I promise there is no better choice. You are important, and your opinions and desires matter.

You can take control of every situation that involves you. Sometimes taking control means asking for help. Sometimes you may have to ask more than once. If that’s what it takes then do it. You are in control of what happens to you. If it has already happened, be loud and let anyone who will listen know, so that it doesn’t happen again. You are too important to be bullied, abused or neglected. You are special, and worth it. Take control and let everyone else know it.

I am insanely protective of those who are important to me. You are important to someone, never doubt that. We’ve all been given free will and the ability to take control of our lives however we choose. Don’t lose the remote.

Thank you to Evie for being my partner in crime and helping me to illustrate my stories far better than I could on my own.

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