I have been a bit behind the last few days. It’s been crazy in the Helka household! Riley and I have been trying to do some early spring cleaning and it has become a larger project than we anticipated. We started the process as just wanting to get rid of some things we either don’t use any more or we can’t wear anymore. That turned into a much larger project which involved moving furniture into the garage we plan to sell or donate, and even cluttering up the house with items to get rid of. Anyways, now that our house, and all the items we are trying to get rid of, are a bit more organized, I actually have time to sit down and write a little.
I saw this quote the other day and was inspired by it immediately. “The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd.” Many of us, especially when we are younger, are so caught up in trying to fit in and be noticed by others that we will do almost anything to fit in the crowd. But we forget to be ourselves and grow in the process.
I was definitely not one to follow the crowd growing up. To this day, I have always tried to be my own person. The person God created me to be. I wasn’t created so that I could follow in someone else’s footsteps or do the same thing as everyone else. Growing up, I noticed so many people doing things that made them feel uncomfortable or unlike themselves all while trying to fit in.
Whether you wore clothes that didn’t match your true character, listened to music you didn’t find appealing, or attended parties or events where you may not have felt comfortable. A huge part of my Middle School and High School years was spent being bullied by my peers. I was either made fun of for not doing what everyone else did, or I was made fun of for doing what I felt was right and true to myself.
Let me give you a few examples. My freshman year of High School, I was 14 years old. I was raised by a Teacher, so I felt very comfortable talking to the teachers and I was always extremely respectful towards them. Many times, I would hear other students making fun of me calling me a “Teacher’s Pet” or a “Goodie Too Shoes.” If I raised my hand to answer a question, or to volunteer to give my presentation first, kids would snicker and laugh at me. The teachers would tell the other students to be quiet and respectful, but that only made it worse.
I was always happy to be the first one to give a presentation because I loved presenting. I loved theater and speeches and was always excited to give a presentation. I didn’t volunteer to go first to earn “brownie points” or to “get an A right away” like some of the kids said. Another example takes place my senior year. I love Jesus, and I love to read my Bible. I would take my Bible just about everywhere because I was always eager to use any free time I had to spend reading God’s word.
I would read my Bible after I completed a test until the bell rang, and sometimes I would read my Bible during lunch. Many kids would laugh at me saying “She thinks she’s better than everyone else.” One time, I even had another kid point me out to his parents saying “That’s the girl who reads her Bible at school. She’s a freak. No one like her.” First of all, what great parents that child had. Those parents were letting him verbally hurt another child and laughed along with him. If my child chose to use their free time to read their Bible, I would be THRILLED! I would be such a happy and grateful parent knowing that I raise my children to love the Lord and want to spend time with Him.
My grandparents were always excited to hear what I learned that day when I read my Bible. They were very supportive and encouraging and always were in my corner. But, that still didn’t cover up all the internal wounds I had from hearing the hurtful things said about me. These kind of wounds may not bleed or show on the outside, but they last a lifetime and become your inner voice. A damaging and harmful inner voice.
I chose not to follow the crowd. I had a very strong conscious and thankfully still do. I knew when something was wrong or not worthy of the Lord. “The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.” If I had not been true to myself, and walked my own path, I would not be the person I am today. Several of the people who I graduated with settled for less, unfortunately. I started my career at the age of 18 and worked my way up to where I am now in the banking industry. I married young, but knew that God had given me that person that I
I saw someone the other day whom I graduated High School with. This person was always following the crowd and never rising to their own potential. This person works 2 low paying jobs to afford their rent and they have a child they pay child support for because he and his previous girlfriend were intimate in high school and became pregnant senior year.
I asked him want his plans were for his and his child’s future. He said he never really thought about it. He told me this is the first time in years where he has ever made decisions on his own for himself. He also told me that he always did everything his friends did because it made him look cool.I was so saddened to learn that he had never taken any time to be his own person. He was intimate with his previous girlfriend in High School because all of his other friends were doing it and he looked cool.
I was bullied much worse than I explained above. I was even physically bullied once in High School to the point where the other student was expelled. I was publicly humiliated for my faith and my choices to live an “I’m Third” lifestyle. But, what helps me feel at peace with the way I was treated is knowing that God is proud of my resistance to the easy sins of high school. God has a special place for me at His right hand because of my constant faith in Him amidst the painful and awful experiences I have from school. God says “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
When we chose to do things for ourselves, and not alter the opinions or views of others, we live happier lives. We are able to excel in ways that our peers would have limited us before. Don’t ever do something that makes you feel uncomfortable and causes you to lose sight of your morals, values, and character. God created us with a full potential and purpose. He did not create us to be the same. He created us to live in ways that honor His word and represent ourselves in our daily lives. I will never do anything that would make me feel less of myself.
When you choose to follow the crowd, you will usually get no further than the crowd. But when you chose to walk alone, when you choose to be your own person and be true to yourself, you will likely find yourself in places no one has ever been before. You will find yourself experiencing such joy and the feeling of contentment and fulfillment knowing you are in tune with who you are and what you want out of life.