Looks Can Be Deceiving, But A Good Heart And Mind Can Serve You Well

The world is full of bullies and dangers, but when you stand strong they falter and diminish.

March 29, 2021

How does one measure courage and strength? Does the size of someone or something determine the impact that it can have in the world? Can a person considered meek and small in stature possess the distinguishing attributes, the qualities and skills of a larger person? The answer of course is yes. Size alone is not the only characteristic or measure of the man, or woman, or even a member of the animal kingdom.

Recently I came across an article about a young boy, Tommy, who is 13 years old and was the victim of bullying in his school. His parents were quite upset and told the story of what their son had been subjected to by other students. Tommy was reserved and quiet and small in stature, but he made up for his size with a good mind and big heart. He took all the taunts, abuse, and ridicule with humor and spirit, and he persevered and showed the bullies what he was made of and how much more goodness and inner strength he had than any of them.

Tommy’s parents, knowing what their son was going through, spoke with his teacher and the principal of the school, and they held a meeting with other parents, and things seemed to work themselves out eventually. Whether this will have any lasting effect on Tommy, I think not, for he was stronger than the bullies and I have no doubt he will get past this difficult period. Perhaps this will strengthen his resolve to face other obstacles he might encounter in life.

Tommy’s story is not unique; others like him could not cope and sadly took more drastic measures, even suicide to end their torment. At some point in our lives, we may be victims of abuse of one form or another and will have to deal with these trials and tribulations. And perpetrators can come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and yes even ages; kids can be mean. 

Inner strength, the heart, and mind when working in tandem can be a formidable force. Some people, who may seem to be weak and timid because of their appearance, can achieve exceptional results. And consider the animal kingdom, there are some small, cute, and what some might consider cuddly little creatures, but don’t be misled - you might just get stung.

After reading this story of young Tommy, tormented and considered an outcast by some of his peers, something came to mind, about how looks can be deceiving. There is an inhabitant of planet earth, and when first looked upon would give the appearance of a creature that poses a threat to no one, and chances are most people don’t even know it exists. If you happen across one, which is doubtful, you might think it just another little varmint and not worthy of your time and any further attention.

There is a stretch of land along the southwest of North America, and which possesses an environment that is harsh and inhospitable. The Sonoran Desert covers approximately 100,000 square miles and runs through the states of California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Mexico. One of the residents of this eco-region is the grasshopper mouse; yes you read that right - a mouse. Not your common variety household rodent that scurries about and can make a mess. This distant cousin with the nickname of the “werewolf mouse,” is that formidable force I mentioned previously.
The grasshopper mouse is about 5 inches in length with a white underbelly, and reddish to gray fur on top. At night you might hear the faint high-pitched howl of the mouse baying at the moon to establish its territory. It looks like a small cute and furry little creature, but what makes it so different is that it is a natural-born killer and ravenous carnivore, and some of its prey - lizards, insects, centipedes, and another resident of the arid desert, the highly venomous scorpion.

The scorpion’s sting can be deadly to humans if it not attended to with medical attention. I guess this is another one of God’s sometimes mysterious, but always magnificent handiwork, for you see the grasshopper mouse is not only a small yet resilient predator, but it is also immune to the scorpion’s venom and attacks its prey moving about with unchecked ferocity and verve. And what makes it even more of a phenomenon, is that it is insensitive to pain, and can convert the toxin of the scorpion into a painkiller.

We can all take a lesson from this small unassuming desert dweller, especially the Tommys of the world, and know that size and looks are not all-important in the grand scheme of things. What matters, I believe, is how you approach life and deal with its vicissitudes and the barriers that we might encounter. Unless humanity goes through a transformation, and all people become always good and decent, there will always be the naysayers, malcontents, haters, and the bullies.

When the naked eye measures from top to bottom,
you may be thought of as rather small,
but it’s your inner strength and spirit, and heart that matters,
and with these you stand strong and tall.

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