This is the last in the series of articles by Simon Morrell to support our Stamp Out Bullying USA campaign.
MY FRIEND ADVERSITY.
I recently came across an old school friend who I hadn’t seen in years and we caught up on a lot of things from the past. She has been reading From Bullied to Black Belt and seemed quite upset about my experiences. Many people have written to me and expressed similar feelings, some have asked how I coped, others have asked for advice on how they can overcome adversity whatever that adversity might be.
The answer is sometimes not what we want to hear, certainly not at the time of the storm we find ourselves in but it is an answer none the less: we treat it as a gift. We embrace it, hate it, accept it and fight it but it is a gift no doubt.
The first person to enlighten me to this theory was a very wise Martial Artist who knew I was struggling with a particularly bad situation. A close friend had turned bandit and stooped to dealing drugs. The biggest problem with this, was that he lived in the same area as me and made the neighbourhood a hell with his muscle cars, gangster friends, constant parties and the ever underbelly of violence against whoever objected to his antics. One of the objectors was me.
He spent almost three years trying to intimidate me, threaten me, torment me and harass me into leaving the area. I was a thorn in his rose. His problem was that prior to this I has spent most of my life running from one bully or another, yet another crisis, yet another early night so I wouldn’t have to meet people and yet another morning being greeted by shame.
Sick to the back teeth of this lifestyle I set about my path in life and it was Martial Arts. The gift that my childhood bullies, teenage attackers and adult thugs gave me was the gift of Martial Arts through adversity. Attached to that package was some sort of backbone.
So when my friend turned dark he was faced with a neighbour who was no stranger to conflict. The problem being I couldn’t see it at the time. All I could see was misery until said wise man stepped up.
“Simon you will look back on this in years to come and know why it happened,” he shared. Truthfully I couldn’t see it at the time but when he went on to talk about how my bullying problem lead ultimately to my Black Belt I conceded he point. He could see it, I couldn’t but I trusted what was being said. It was logical: if I hadn’t been bullied I wouldn’t be a Black Belt. If I could just be strong and take this next batch of adversity even though I couldn’t see any positive in it then somewhere down the line I would get it.
Fast forward some years. My whole life I have wanted to live in America and take my story there. Next month sees the next stage of that dream when we travel to New York to talk to people who are being bullied, who are fearful and who cannot see their gift. My adversity turned into an article which turned into a book which is turning into a film. My gift is being honoured to be asked to teach in New York.
What will I teach? What will I tell people? I will tell them to stand strong and see it through because adversity is also their gift. If I had not had my troubles then what on earth would I stand in front of them and talk about? How could I help them? How could I show them the proof of this story if it hadn’t happened?
Follow the trail:
No bullies, no Martial Arts.
No Martial Arts, no backbone.
No backbone, let the dealer (fear) dominate.
Let the dealer (fear) dominate, no book.
No book, no film, no USA dream, no helping souls who need it.
No adversity? No gift. Embrace it, hate it, accept it, fight it but recognise its gift. I am sure on my travels I will encounter adversity again but this time I hope I can see past it to a gift. I am sure I won’t see what that gift is but I know it will be there waiting, I just have to stand up for it. Do the same, you do the same. Whatever your adversity, bad job, poor relationship, lack of funds whatever it is, welcome your friend adversity.
It is not to late to get some great perks and help our campaign here
Tomorrow is closing date for the campaign to help us fight bullying in America.