I don’t read io9 much these days, they’re too focused on sci-fi movies usually. But once in a while I find absolute gems of articles, like this one (abridged somewhat):
Six Good Habits I Learned from Being Bullied as a Geeky Kid
Like a lot of geeks, I spent several years in social hell as a kid. You know the routine. They passed mean notes about me in class. They got together in big groups at lunchtime, surrounded me, and asked me weird, sneering questions. They punched me, insulted me, crank called my house at 3 AM, and smeared pizza sauce on my favorite white shirt. And the strange thing is that I think they made me a better person. Here are six life lessons I learned from being bullied when I was a geeky kid.
1. Ignore Insults and Keep Going
2. Everybody Is Probably Laughing at You, But It’s Not Really A Big Deal
3. There Is Nothing More Important than Friendship
When you’re a geeky kid, it’s really easy to figure out who your true friends are.
4. Fantasies Are More Powerful Than Pain
…I had no one to turn to but Ursula Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey and Walter Farley... To this day, I have an incredibly high tolerance for pain because I know how to go into fantasy mode and shut off negative inputs with a powerful, internally generated story.
5. Always Distrust Popularity
I’ve seen firsthand how easily popularity slides into Hate Patrol scenarios. I also know that popular things are not always the best. By the same token, just because the crowd boos something doesn’t mean it is valueless.
6. Give Up On Revenge
Best of all, being bullied taught me to question popularity of all kinds, whether it’s in Hollywood and the White House, or on Facebook and the Nobel Prize list. Just because everybody likes it doesn’t mean it’s good.
Walking a path separate from the others can be difficult, but worthwhile if you can persist.
It makes me want to sing that old disco song:
You think I’d crumble
You think I’d lay down and die
Oh, no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give
And I’ll survive, I will survive, hey, hey
It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
And I spent, oh, so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry but now I hold my head up high
And you see me, somebody new
I’m not that chained up little person still in love with you
And so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to be free
But now I’m saving all my loving for someone who’s loving me