Love. Languages. Resilience.
The three gifts that every parent can give to their children. I know mine did, and much more. As I near the big 40, half of my life is gone and can never be re-lived. Assuming I live to be 80 or beyond, this is what I have left - the next 40+ years. In retrospection, 39 years isn't a long time.
Needless to say, I've learned quite a bit. Things aren't what they seem. One thing is clear: the students are being lied to. If you followed the rules, did all the right things, said all the right things, a life of security and comforts are not guaranteed. Never were and never will be.
There are good people, bad people, and those in between - usually, the bad ones are those who are willing to lie, cheat, twist, manipulate their way to power. The in-between are those who are intrinsically good with bad habits or susceptible to bad influence. The in-between and good ones are usually trampled upon, unless you have a sense of self-worth, you'll be willing to assert yourself, basically, say "hey.. that wasn't cool." In most cases, this would slow down the bad ones. They don't ever stop but they do slow down enough for you and others like you to make a difference. Power isn't external, it comes from within.
Now, what if you have a difficulty identifying the bad from a crowd of good? This is where wisdom comes in and wisdom is the product of risk-taking, critical inquiry, and resilience. The bad people are insecure. Insecurity breeds fear, irrationality, and paranoia. Result? The need for control intensifies - this is why abuses happen. Bad people abuse others to give them a sense of control, to feel safe. This is the reason why Love, Languages, and Resilience are so important - love tells you that you are not alone, that you have support whenever, wherever you need it; languages allows you to express your thoughts/feelings articulately, communicates what you need; and resilience tells you that you are strong, that things will and do get better, and gives you strength to face the abuser(s).
Why languages as in plural? Two reasons: a. Most people who might read this would likely be bilingual (American Sign Language and English) b. Learning more than one language gives you greater access to the world and thus gives you opportunity to experience greater love and resilience.
I have been abused by the bad people. Yet, my love remains intact. With this, I am reclaiming and redefining myself. Thank you mom & dad for the greatest gifts you've ever given me.