Let me tell you, bullies are BAD! And they can destroy a passion without you knowing. Its like a sickness that kills you slowly. By the time you notice there's something wrong, you'll see yourself far away from your passion. When I was a young boy, my dad took me to basketball tryouts. I loved basketball so much! I use to wake up early on Saturdays to go to the basketball court at my school and practice my 3-pointers. I was really good at shooting those. So, I was excited for this basketball tryout, and excited to show off my shots from the 3-pointer line. What I fail to realize was, I was walking into a passion-killer war zone. This tryout was at a different school district and I didnt know anyone there. The kids were a bit older than me, and if not older, they looked older. I was a skinny kid with glasses bigger than my face. While at the tryout everyone was hanging out and I didnt fit in, but I loved the game of basketball. The kids there treated me like I didn't belong there, and at some point I was hit with a ball. Thinking about it now, the coach never did anything about it and failed to observe my lack of achievement. I was feared, afraid and not concentrated at all. I was actually dying for this tryout to end so I can get the heck out of there. I never told my dad the reason I didn't make the cut. I was embarassed and ashamed of myself. I promised myself I will never go back to that hell-hole ever again. And I continued my Saturday morning routines and played with my close friends. Bullies exist everywhere and their job is to run you over with your passion as their weapon. I was lucky, because sports wasn'my strong suit — music is. I learned a very important lesson. To always stand up for what you believe in. And come hell or high water, I will always kick butt in everything I do — no matter what. And if you're a parent, never take short answers from your kids when it comes to finding out how they're doing in special activities in school or elsewhere. Always take intitiative and visit their school unexpectedly. Analyze and always nuture your childrens passion. If you fail at that, a bully will make sure to destroy it. Confidence is built from the moment a child is born. A child and just as you were once a child, are born with gifts — gifts that will make them unique in their own way. Protect your kids from verbal, phyiscal bullies.