A Jury of Your Peers
This should be a comforting thought. Your peers should understand why you did something or believe you did not do something wrong. Sounds good but just who are your peers? They are selected from a group in the community that surrounds you. We are not always talking about your peers judging you in a court of law. Even the small community of your family has people in it who are truly not your peers. Different members of the family have higher or lower ranks, abilities, and reasons to be revered and respected. Not everyone will look alike as do the 12 dolls in this picture even if you are all related.
The family gives you some idea of how your peers will respond to you in the outside world. However, when you start school you find that the way you are ranked and treated in your family may have little relationship to the new peers in your community. Some of your peers or you yourself may have charisma and be liked and treated well by everyone. Some will be left out and almost shunned by the group. If you are lucky enough to be at least included in the group of people who surround and relate to the people with charisma, you rapidly learn to not relate to the people are shunned. Suddenly peers can become almost cruel and spiteful to the people outside their “rank”.
It is unfortunate that some of the reasons you are in one peer group or another makes no sense in school. Just think about what happens when you go to one of your school or college reunions. Some of the people are afraid to show up even though that have become very successful and revered in the peer group they find themselves in their adult lives. They remember how classmates treated them and do not want to encounter those who tormented them. Often the “Most likely to succeed” won’t show up because they do not feel they met the expectations of others.
Schools are now making great efforts to stop bullying. It seems to me watching the younger kids in school who have been in systems that are trying to stop and control bullying are more civil to their classmates and a little less interested in status and rank. This is something I welcome after years of seeing children labeling other classmates as losers, weirdo, snobs and even ugly.