One of the problems we all face at some point in our lives is dealing with bullies. This mostly happens in school, especially during childhood.
However, bullying can happen at any place and age, including workplaces or perhaps from our own family.
We often hear the best way to stand up for ourselves against bullies is to face these people without fear. This story of a young man proves just that.
"I was 15 and moved to Philly from Texas. I had a pretty strong accent and had never been out of the state before, so I didn't know what to expect socially."
"On my first day of school, I had the bad judgment to wear a Dallas Cowboys jersey, thinking people will laugh. I got a few dirty looks throughout the day and a few you've got balls' comments."
"The last period goes by, and I'm waiting for my bus out front when this huge guido comes up and starts talking trash to me. I tell him to piss up a rope, and he knocks me out with one punch. He was suspended, and I'm told not to antagonize things."
"Time goes by, and he's a constant pain in my life, bullying me around weekly. He outweighed me by about 75 pounds thanks to his steroid use and high temper to match."
"I got beat up many times thanks to him and his manipulations. We graduate, and I don't see him for a few years."
"I had always been into cooking and decided that's what I wanted to do with my life. So I went to culinary school and started working in the industry."
"I worked my way up the ladder quickly, thanks to focus, a willingness to sacrifice a social life, and hard work."
"A few years later, I was the executive chef of a small bistro, and we had a policy of taking a prisoner on work release from the county jail as part of a rehabilitation program."
"The owner was a great guy who grew up without guidance and made some bad decisions early in life that got him [into] jail for a few years. He got out, got a job as a dishwasher where the owner of that place saw some promise and took him under his wing. He gave him the life lessons he never got from his family and so on. This was his way of paying forward what he got."
"We had gone through a few guys who seemed to do well, and the program worked out well."
"One day, we [wanted] to get a new guy and guess who walks in the door. He doesn't notice me at first but was then introduced to me as his direct boss."
"The owner starts to introduce me, but I interrupt, saying that we already know each other quite well and need no introductions."
"I told the owner about our history, not leaving any details out, and he asks me what I want to do. I ask him to give me a few minutes in the walk-in with him, and it's all good."
"Then, I took him there and asked him why he was in jail and where he was in his head. I also told him how I would treat him was up to him. And that this could go well, or he could turn right around and go right back to jail. He ended up breaking down and spilling his heart out."
"Between drugs, an abusive household, and having no real friends in school due to a total lack of social skills, he had no idea how to have a real relationship."
"He told me that the days he would beat me up were the days after his old man would beat him when he got drunk. His life just went downhill after school, and [cops] busted [him] for dealing."
"I told him to clean himself up, and I'd do my best to show him how to get his life together. He ended up being one of the hardest workers I have ever seen."
"Five years later, he ended up being my sous chef. He has his own restaurant now, and we often guest chefs at each other's place. I wouldn't trade his friendship for the world."
"It really makes me think, 'I could have dismissed him as nothing more than a mindless bully. But I would have missed out on a great friend.'"
"Everyone has their own stories. Everyone has their own reasons."