I don't like it when people pick on others, degrade them, or are out to get others -- but it happens so often. Can one person really make a difference and change the situation?
Picking on people is common. It seems to happen at all levels and in every age group. Being a teenager, I've often seen the older students pick on the new, incoming students. I can speak from my own experience that one person can make a difference.
During my eighth grade year, many of my friends started picking on a group of sixth-graders. I separated myself from this activity and prayed. A story that relates well to this situation is about Saul/Paul, who had persecuted the Christians "breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord" (Acts 9:1):
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:3-6)
Christ talked to him, and he became blind. His blindness symbolizes how he was blind to the Christ ideas and teachings. Saul realized that what he was doing was wrong. He reversed his previous opinions, and his sight was restored. His name was changed to Paul. He became an avid learner, a strong advocate, a teacher and minister of Christianity who feared the lord.
My eighth-grade friends were being blind to consideration, respect, and kindness for others. They had to have their thought lifted up to a higher understanding to the Christ idea for them to see and appreciate all around them. Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up… will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32).
I decided to be the one to raise my thought and set the standard for them to follow. I began knowing that this was not how my friends were supposed to act and that they knew the proper way to act. They were drawn to the uplifted thought. They saw that what they were doing was wrong, stopped picking on the younger students, and were good friends with everybody from then on.
This remarkably quick turnaround showed that one person who raises his thought to a higher understanding can draw all manner of people unto him as Christ did. Situations can change. If we all are able to raise our thoughts to the level of the Christ, others can and will follow. Then the Christ idea will flourish in us all, and all humankind will be helped through this idea. The blessings of the Christ will thrive, and we will finally understand the God-sent message that our thoughts must be raised to a higher and brighter understanding.