“Stopping the Insults,” New Era, Apr. 2013, 47
I was once driving home with my friends when someone brought up the subject of girls and asked “Whom do you like?” The young men in the front of the car had begun to mention names of young women, and then they asked me whom I liked.
“I don’t really like anyone in that way,” I answered.
That’s when the name of a young woman whom I used to be good friends with came up. They began to mention her name and insult her. I immediately felt the temptation to insult her as well and to agree with what they were saying. But I held my tongue. Slowly what they said got worse until I couldn’t take it anymore.
“Stop,” I said quietly. “She’s not that way at all. She’s nice when you get to know her.”
They didn’t listen and continued to insult her. Again the temptation arose to insult her. “Why would she care? She doesn’t even have to know,” I thought to myself. I just listened for a moment.
“She is so weird,” one of the guys said.
By this time I’d had enough.
“You need to stop what you’re saying and be nice to her!” I said. “She has a really hard life, and insulting her even though she can’t hear you doesn’t make her life easier!”
Silence filled the car. I felt so alone, so strange.
When I got home, I thought and prayed about what had just happened. I began to feel better, and then I felt really good about my decision to defend rather than belittle this young woman.