Rage against Justin Bieber

I like to think of myself as a tough kid. I usually don’t let too much get to me.

There’s a quote in the movie A League of Their Own that is kind of my philosophy. Right fielder Evelyn Gardner makes a bad play, and Jimmy Dugan calls her on it, making her cry.

Me and Michael at Fenway 2009

He yells at her, “Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!”

I’m a HUGE baseball fan. If there’s no crying in baseball, there will be no crying. Period.

I’m pretty good at keeping it in. There are very few people who have ever seen my tears. But sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes my frustrations come out when I least expect it.

Sometimes they show up in my dreams. Recently I had nightmares all night. I don’t know why or what I dreamed about. All I can tell you is I woke up incredibly angry with Justin Bieber.

I don’t even know the poor boy. I’ve just heard his name. But he became my scapegoat. Rage against Justin Bieber. Oh, I didn’t do anything about it. I just pictured his face whenever I felt like screaming.

Weird? I agree. But, hey, but if Justin Bieber were the first thing that popped in your head after a night of unsettling bad dreams, you might feel a little rage toward the boy too.

I am so ashamed.

I try my best to keep a sunshine positive attitude. After all, it’s my choice. I can be happy. Or not.

But everywhere I’ve turned in the past three weeks, I have felt little darts. You know what I’m talking about. Snarky comments, hateful attitudes, hateful remarks, criticism, condescending suggestions, and the looks. Oh, how I despise the looks.

And even when I’m trying to do what’s right, I end up doing saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing and falling prey to the darts again, each time more aggressively.

Pop, pop, pop.

You know what I’m talking about. You’ve felt them too. But if you’re like me, you may not even know where they’re coming from, but you know it when you’re hit. You just don’t know who your enemy is.

The only thing I can compare this enemy to is the Yanamamo hunter. He lives in the Amazon rainforest, where he hunts his prey, often the monkey. 

When he hunts, he climbs a tree, eyes an unsuspecting monkey, takes a dart from his quiver, dips it into poison, inserts the dart into the blowgun, and then blows. The dart imbeds itself in the monkey’s flesh.

Pop. Dead monkey. Just like that. Monkey doesn’t even see it coming.

None of the other monkeys in the colony even notice their monkey friend is gone. They just go on, doing their monkey business. Ever felt like one of those targeted monkeys?

The thing is these monkeys don’t die immediately. They drop to the ground and run away to isolate themselves. Then they die. It usually takes a while for the poison to take effect.

Isn’t that what happens when we take a hit emotionally? We feel the immediate sting. We try to dismiss it, but then we let it get under our skin, and the poison takes effect.

We become just one more casualty in the ongoing spiritual warfare.

It gets worse. Want to know what the poison’s made of? Frog juice, actually the alkaloid poisons in the frog’s skin. The poison leaves the victims unable to move, their muscles paralyzed. Eventually the victims die of heart failure.

Wow. So let’s see if you are following my little analogy. Note the steps.

Enemy uses his vessel to project poison into unsuspecting victims. Victims become paralyzed with broken hearts. Victims die.

Wow. The native’s poison darts and the enemy’s cruel words are both deadly.

But there is a bright side, though there is no current antidote for the toxin of the poison dart frog, there is an antidote for cruel words. Kindness.

I know a lot of you, like me, have had to deal with hurt this week. I’m truly sorry. I wish I could do or say something to make you feel better. A kind word here or there—maybe an email or a gift or a simple chat–can make all the difference. I know.

Just when I’ve least expected it this week, I had someone out of the blue to do something to mend my broken spirit and to make me feel so much better.

So you—if you’re reading this, THANK YOU.

My goal for this upcoming week is to stop thinking about me and to start thinking about others. I will start by making a public apology to Justin Bieber.

Dear Justin, I am very sorry that I targeted you as my scapegoat this week. I’m sure you are a fine young man, and I wish you only the best. Just stay out of my dreams—and my nightmares.

As for everyone else, if there is something I can do for you, let me know. Got a prayer request? Leave me a comment. Send me a message or a text. Call me. Let me know how I can send a blessing your way.

We help ourselves when we focus on others.

Just a side note: Talking about frogs, especially poison dart frogs, has been one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve done this week. I hate frogs. When I was five years old, I had a dream that I was riding my hobby horse and a frog reached up, opened its mouth and swallowed my foot. This dream traumatized me. My parents tried to tell me that frogs were too little to eat a human foot. I believed them. THEN, while researching info for this blog, I saw this picture. My parents lied to me. Look at the picture of the frog at the bottom of the blog. THAT frog could swallow the boats of NBA players Yao Ming or Shaquille O’Neal. Now I’ve got that to worry about. *Sigh* Oh well. Pleasant dreams.





Make a Difference Day

Justin made a difference by working with Postcrossing to send postcards to Reagyn, a fifth grade student from London, Ohio. She has a stage three brain tumor, and she and her family recently had to move to Virginia so that she could receive radiation special treatments. Her teacher wanted to do something to make her feel special, so when Reagyn asked for help in collecting postcards from all over the world, the teacher recruited help from other Postcrossing collectors. (She is still accepting postcards, so check the link at the end of the blog if you would like to help.)


Today is Make a Difference Day, the Nation’s Largest Day of Service.

Thanks to USA WEEKEND, who came up with idea, people all across the United States are working together to help their neighbors in need.

If you’re interested in joining in, please visit the official Make a Difference Day website: http://www.usaweekend.com/section/MDDAY

While you are there, be sure to check out the information about reporting the results of your project. Participants are eligible to receive $10,000 for a charitable donation. (Sorry, you don’t get to keep it.) It’s really easy to join in and to be counted among the many others who are making a difference October 23.

The folks at USA Weekend require their participants to actually be involved on October 23. My students, however, have so many activities filling their weekends that they have taken time this week to perform random acts of kindness, such as washing their teachers’ desks, helping their teachers transport items for our recent Homecoming Day activities and volunteering time to help their clubs raise money. Some of this money will be used for the Thanksgiving food drive and various Christmas projects.

Justin (pictured at the top of this blog) chose to send a postcard to a very sick child who requested to collect postcards from the world. He found her story, as told through her teacher, from Postcrossing. Postcrossing: The Postcard Crossing Project is a fun project year around and nationwide. Participants must first create an account and request and address and Postcard ID. They mail the postcard to that address. A postcard will then be mailed to them. Participants register their Postcard ID they received, and follow the same steps to receive more postcards.

Other people who have joined in the fun say it’s almost like Christmas when the postcards begin to arrive. The postcards both encourage and brighten the day of the receiver (and sender). Teachers can get on board and create a project for their students of all ages. An entire class can “travel the world” without stepping outside their classroom.

For more information, please visit this site:


Please consider making a difference in someone else’s life. Be sure to leave a comment so that you might encourage others to do the same.

Congratulations to all of you for making a difference in someone else’s life. You made a difference in mine by just commenting on my blog. Keep up the great work. I hope that someone will surprise you next week with something special that lifts your spirits.

Casey won a copy of the Max Lucado DVD, Christmas Child. Yes, believe it or not, Christmas is just around the corner. Make a Difference Day is a just sneak peek into the season of giving.