To the editor: If you have ever been a victim of bullying or if you have been a bully, you should consider this. Of course we would prefer to protect our children from bullying and adversity. Society tends to look for bureaucratic or feel-good solutions for such difficult things, but I think we often overlook the best solutions. I’m certainly not suggesting that there’s a single, simple solution for such a large problem. However, adequate preparedness would greatly decrease bullying encounters.

Wrestlers, no matter how small, aren’t going to be victims of bullying. Wrestling is mentally and physically difficult. It requires mental and physical preparation and training. It is about having tough encounters on the mat and calling upon that training in the midst of it. Kids who wrestle will have an opportunity to develop physical strength, mental strength, grit and determination that will prepare them for difficult life encounters. 

Few of us make it through life without experiencing difficulty. That point when you want to give up, but you reach deep within and push through is a result of your mental toughness. Those times when you give all that you have, all that you can muster, and you still come up short, and you refuse to quit, that’s grit. 

Our culture is growing increasingly soft and embraces victimization as a way of life in many circumstances. We need more grit in society today. 

Wrestling isn’t for everyone, but kids of all ages, shapes and sizes can wrestle. If not wrestling, find something similar in your community to support. Do what you can to make sure that every child at least has an opportunity to learn such life skills. 

If you’re in the greater West Plains area, please consider supporting our high school wrestling program. Several members of the West Plains community have devoted their time, money and effort to get West Plains High School Board to conditionally approve the wrestling program for the fall of 2019, contingent upon a $20,000 fundraising effort for a mat, equipment, supplies, etc.

Fundraising efforts remain $8,000 shy of the requirement and there are seven short weeks left to do it. A donation of any amount, or the purchase of a raffle ticket would be a huge help. When the school board gave tentative approval last year, there were more than 50 kids that wanted to wrestle. Without your help, our high school kids won’t have the opportunity.

Marvin Jones

West Plains

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