Kids can be really awesome, but sadly, they can also be really mean. Bullying is unfortunately far too common in society these days, and it can be pretty sickening. When I was in first grade, I had kids make fun of me because of my skin color or the "smelly" Indian food my mother lovingly packed in my lunchbox every day. It wasn't fun, and for a while, it honestly made me a little bit ashamed of my ethnicity. I'd beg my mom for a ham sandwich sometimes. Thankfully, I was still very young and was able to bounce back from it. Sure, my food smells, but it also tastes better than anything those kids had, so guess who laughs last (with a nice, full belly)?
When a teenager named Elena tries to go get a scoop of ice cream from a local parlor, she ends up getting something she didn't ask for - ridiculed for her speech disorder. Elena has a stutter, a condition affecting nearly 1% of the entire world's population. Although its cause is not yet completely known, it is generally believed to be congenital and there is some evidence of there being a genetic basis for stuttering. In other words, it's hardly something to be making fun of someone for. Yet, the other teenagers in line behind her continue to make rude, impatient comments ... until someone else in the store can't take it and stands up for her.
Thankfully, this scenario was staged by ABC's popular social experiment show, "What Would You Do?" The rude teenagers and Elena are all actors, although Elena really does have a stutter. It's heartwarming to see that so many people chose to stand up on her behalf, especially when Elena reveals that in her personal experiences, such interventions are usually rare. Here's hoping more people will watch this video and follow the example it sets by standing up to bullying wherever they see it.
H/T: OAPWS Ottawa