I received this letter to the editor this week and thought I should share it with the readers of the Faribault County Register. I found it to be quite interesting and unusual and maybe you will, too.
Dear Mr. Editor,
I read with interest your column last week concerning bullying and the fact that you yourself were bullied.
It takes courage sometimes to admit that you were the victim of some type of bullying incident.
I, too, was bullied in my youth, many, many years ago.
Like you, I was picked on because of my size and the color of my hair.
But, while you were short and blond, I was tall and green.
Very tall. And, very, very green.
When you are a giant among men people expect that you are tough and they think no one will ever hassle you.
That is not necessarily true. I was picked on because I was different from everyone else.
I was very, very tall. I towered over everyone else in the valley.
And, not only was my hair green, so was my skin and also my clothes.
Ah, my clothes. My family was poor and we couldn't afford the nice things many other people wore.
In fact, I was reduced to wearing a rather skimpy tunic made out of leaves we found in the backyard.
Talk about embarrassing! You don't think I was picked on daily because of it? I?was, believe me.
And my speech. I had been cursed with a very low bass voice even as a youngster. And, I had this nervous habit of yelling out "ho, ho, ho," all the time.
Kids will pick up on things like that and tease you mercilessly for it.
Then there was the day I moved to my new home in Blue Earth.
As the new guy in town I was expecting some harassment because of my size, skin color, clothing and strange speech.
But, I was surprised that not only was I harrassed, I was bullied.
You see when you are a big guy, others want to see how tough you are, and they think it is funny to take a punch at the giant and knock him to the ground.
There is a photograph of the incident I can share with you to prove it. Which is pretty amazing, since it happened well before the advent of cell phone cameras.
It happened in the industrial park in Blue Earth 34 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
Being bullied is no fun.
That is why I was so happy when my sponsor, General Mills, decided to use me as a mascot for the new Raise a Giant anti-bullying campaign.
I eagerly agreed.
If my wearing an orange toga will in any way help even one young person stand up and stop being bullied, then I am glad to be of help.
I am hoping that everyone, from students to parents to every community member, will join me in putting a stop to this seemingly increasing problem of bullying.
It is time to stand up tall and orange and be a giant when it comes to preventing bullying in your school and town.
The Green (Orange) Giant