Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Small Town, Big Bullies

Rosalea Hostetler contacted me a few weeks ago and began to tell me her story, but stopped in frustration, saying it was too much to talk about, to relive in a few communications. Now, she is writing her story of working endlessly to preserve the history and culture of her home county in Kansas.

The following is excerpted from an article by Rosalea Hostetler, (Harper, KS, USA) titled Bullying on the Prairie.

"You know how you sometimes have an “eureka” moment in life, when you “finally get it”? Recently I had that moment when it finally sunk in that the reason my journey for the past 40 years has been so hard in Harper County Kansas has been the incessant bullying. It took me my entire life to finally truly understand that I had been a target and of the brutal impact Harper County bullies have had on my life, my health and on the 501(c) (3) nonprofit I established to preserve the history, art & culture of the prairies for future generations. Tragically, this abuse of power has also nearly obliterated our small town. It is not Wal-Mart -- rather, it is the abuses bestowed by bullies in “leadership” on the good people, the talented people who do not have the energy or knowledge to fight such rotten apples."

"Because I have stood up to the bullies, told the truth and stayed the course, I have lost virtually everything once important in my life: my Mennonite church, my family ties, two husbands (also bullies) and school chum friendships. For years I was taunted as “the problem.” (I cried a lot in those days.) I’ve lost so much in my life that there is nothing left to lose so now I am ready to speak up wherever I can to tell the world about the horrors of small town bullies with the hopes of bringing Hope to our small prairie towns."

For more from Rosalea on this topic, visit her new blog: