“Johnny, be reasonable just talk to him,” they say as the big-fat bully is holding him to the ground grabbing his sandwich.
They want him to talk to his bully, try to reason with him to get a bite or a crumb out of the sandwich his mom prepared to him in the morning. It’s his favorite sandwich, strawberry jam with butter. He doesn’t have to share it, yet alone negotiate for a bite.
Every night Johnny cries himself to sleep. He dreams. Dreams of one school day that starts with a smile and ends with a smile. And in between he can eat his sandwich in peace.
He’s been bullied since the second grade, he knows nothing of a normal school day. He doesn’t dream of much. Just to eat the strawberry jam sandwich in peace!
Day in, day out, he goes to school prepared for another day of bullying, not knowing whether he can even take a bite of the sandwich that will eventually end in the big-fat stomach.
When he’s on ground, his eyes only stare at the feet gathered around him, surrounding him, suffocating him even more. But his hearing sense is probably is boosted. Boosted with the sounds of other bullies laughing, enjoying the scene. Learning, noting, and planning their own personally bullying endeavor.
The most hurting are the sound of his friends, preaching, secretly hoping it will not be there turn. Loosing their sense of reality. Happy they’re not there on ground, and planning to keep it that way. Delusional! Advising Johnny to be pragmatic, to be kind to the bully. Hoping he can negotiate a solution that will make it less hurtful. “It’s JUST a sandwich,” they say. It’s not worth. Why would you want to get all this beating for JUST a sandwich.
But it’s more than JUST a sandwich. It’s his sandwich. It’s the sandwich his mom packed in his lunch box in the morning, handed to him with that smile, and that love. How can you betray that smile and love. It’s more than just a sandwich.
Next night, his thoughts come and go, imaging himself a giant punching back, fighting back. Fantasizing about every single way he can hurt his bully. Does that make him a villain? Maybe. But it’s not him constructing those images and thoughts in his head. It’s the pain; the hurt; the defeat; the oppression.
But he believes, one day he will eat that sandwich to the last bite. One day he WILL end his school day with the smile and love he opened his eyes to in the morning. His believe is delusional in the eyes of his classmates. But in his eyes, it is what keeps him going. It is the only thing he is left with. His believe is what gives him hope. And his hope is what waters his believe in his little heart.
NO! Negotiating for the bite is not the solution. It’s the antithesis of hope. If hope was the source of his power. If it was the source of life within him, negotiation is the end of hope.
“They steal your loaf of bread.. they give you a crumb of it.. and then they order you to thank them for their generosity… How insolent!!!” He reads out lout..in his mind. And he continues to build up that hope. One day!