We cannot change other people's behaviour but we can change ourselves and can change our reaction to negative circumstances. As the saying goes when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. Here is a story where a man did just that, use his disadvantage to his advantage in a creative way.
As a boy he was bullied and tormented because he was different but he has triumphed over his bullies
Del Arco was born in Uruguay, a country in southeast South America. As a child, he played with dolls and was often mistaken for a girl. His parents took him to a therapist to get him to act more like a boy, to no avail. Later, when he was 10, his family left their home for America. His first plane ride was a 15-hour trip to New York's John F. Kennedy airport. At first, he was excited to be in America because he thought life would be like the TV show "The Jetsons."
"I thought there would be big TV screens in everyone's house and we'd eat pills instead of food," he says. "I thought we'd have cars that fly."
Instead, his family moved into a two-bedroom, "rat-infested" apartment in Port Chester, N.Y., furnished by the Salvation Army. School was no respite. He couldn't speak English so he was put in a class with many poor, Spanish-speaking Latinos. The class "reminded me of steerage in the movie 'Titanic,'" he says. "If something bad were to happen, we'd be the last rescued or, worse, locked in that room, left to die."
The Latino students did not accept Del Arco, calling him "white" and shunning him. The teasing that began in Uruguay followed him to the United States. Students called him names and physically threatened him.
Once he was in junior high school, the bullying became relentless. Del Arco talked about one bully whom he called Bruce, who tormented him at school and often followed him home and terrified him. "I was sure he would kill me," Del Arco says.
Del Arco told his tormentor a clever lie, about "contagious nose cancer," that frightened the bully enough that he left Del Arco alone for the remainder of junior high school and all through high school. "That is how I learned to outsmart the bullies and not get injured," he says. "I had my imagination and my creativity and that was an asset, a way to navigate a lot of these obstacles....