March 31, 2014

If your child gets bullied or called a “nerd,” show them this.

reddit nerd bully

Wil Wheaton responds to a Little Girl about being called a Nerd (video)

I was a nerd. Straight A’s and if I got anything less I actually argued with the teacher, explaining to them how they were wrong, if they were. I read books, and more books, and played D&D, and got picked on…stuffed in lockers…I cried a lot…I quit baseball…the abuse continued for a year. I came back the next year taller. I learned how to swear, to dress cool and…survive. But that first year at junior high forged me, for worse but ultimately better, shaping who I would become. But if I could have been spared such suffering, ohhhh. As a (future) parent, I’d want to show this to my child. As a child, I wish I’d seen this.

Two special Comments from Reddit:

“That was my daughter. She and the girl that bullied her are cool with each other this year. They aren’t in the same class, though. This year has been a good year, but she noticed another little girl in her class kept getting picked on by the other students. She became this girl’s friend and stands up for her when the other kids are being mean. We’ve talked about this moment a lot. After this panel, she paid to get her picture taken with Wil. He actually hugged her!

Edit: Thanks for the gold, awesome stranger! I will pay it all forward to my daughter somehow.

Edit: Here’s the picture of them together. In the first picture, he’s signing it for her at Planet Comic-Con a couple weeks ago. She was so nervous and afraid he wouldn’t remember her.

Edit: For anyone wondering why she had a pay for a picture with him, it’s just the way these conventions work. It didn’t phase us in the slightest. We didn’t feel entitled to anything. We love his work on Tabletop, and he’s opened the door to a whole new world of tabletop games for our family. We’ve been having more family game nights and involving our kids’ friends as much as we can. If anything, it was a small way to pay him back for this. International Tabletop Day is next Saturday, and she’s hoping to spend the whole day gaming with her friends.”

And: “That was my daughter that asked that question. This was a magical moment for the whole family. What you might not get from the sound of all the applause is that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room after this. Mia met Wil again briefly at the Kansas city con this year, and he was as gracious and cool as you could have hoped. They talked about minecraft, ballet, mistakes, and silliness. Wil Wheaton, you are an honorary member of this family and I hope you know that you have made a real impact on Mia and the rest of us silly nerds. I wish you nothing but the greatest success. Oh yeah we love Tabletop too.”

Wonderfully relephant bonus:

The Heart of a Bully.

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Genevieve Rohan Jan 28, 2016 1:10pm

Beautiful, hopeful and well said.

Luie DZ Sep 2, 2015 2:16pm

I was bullied from 3rd grade throughout high school. Fortunately no internet or other social media just face to face. I never cried or got shoved into lockers (they were only the upper locker types) . I was tallest in my classes til sophomore year and not the beauty queen type. I learned to hold my head up high and in high school looked them dred in the eyes. Never stopoed them but I felt better. My Mom was great and made me feel special, I was never the nerd, just the but of jokes. Left that town never looked back. Do not hate them and never once let what happened bring me down. I am stronger because of them and am the big sister type to those that are fodder for bullies.

Sara Sep 4, 2014 4:13pm

I'm so grateful to say that my eyes were a pair of those in the room that day when she asked that question to Wil Wheaton, and it truly was an amazing moment. More positive messages like this should spread through schools so kids don't have to grow up in the world that we all did — and maybe, just maybe, the world will become a better place for our children and our children's children to live in.

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Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.