“A playground dispute in the fourth grade concluded with a barrage of epithets hurled at me, each one more stinging than the one before it. I was called every derogatory name for Indians that two white fourth-grade classmates could remember. Stunned, I could think of nothing equally hurtful to throw back.
That evening, still hurting from the insults, I told my grandfather about the incident.
‘Words can hurt,’ he said, “but only if you let them. They called you bad names. Were you changed into the things they called you?”
“No,” I replied.
“You cannot forget what they said any more than you cannot feel the wind when it blows. But if you learn to let the wind blow through you, you will take away its power to blow you down. If you let the words pass through you, without letting them catch on your anger or pride, you will not feel them.”
This story is shared by Joseph Marshall III in his book, “the lakota way.” I look forward to passing it along one day, to my grandkids – for it does reflect wisdom, and is a good way to deal with bullies of all ages.