When I was in grade school I was cursed.
The biggest troublemaker in school had a first and last name that was so similar to mine, people would often get us confused.
Usually, I was able to keep my distance, but one time I almost got blamed for one of his cruel jokes.
In the morning before recess, we had a bathroom break. The teacher would have us line up in alphabetical order and walk us to the bathrooms. The special ed class had the same schedule as us, so Nick #2 had twice the number of targets.
One morning, our usually routine turned into something well beyond the ordinary. Nick #2 thought it would be a good idea to soak some paper towels in water, ball them up and whip them at one of the special ed student’s bare butt while he was trying to take care of business.
He screamed bloody murder and the teacher ran in to see what had happened. Of course, Nick #2 slipped out as she walked in and guess who she saw. Me, alone washing my hands.
Luckily after some skilled negotiating (I was pretty good at this point thanks to Nick’s shenanigans), I was able to convince the teacher that I had nothing to do with it.
You see, Nick #2 didn’t care about much. All he wanted to do was entertain himself at the expense of others.
He had a couple of “close” friends, but they were the kind of friends that would stick bubble gum in your hair. Since he never cared about others, I don’t think many people cared about him. Sadly, even his parents left him to fend for himself.
After years of torment, he moved to Arizona and everyone celebrated.
When we’re self-absorbed, we lose touch with reality. We get stuck in our own heads and we think that we’re always right. All of our ideas seem genius.
But the truth is, it’s far from smart to be inconsiderate of the things that live outside of our personal bubble.
Nick was an extreme example, but we all have selfish tendencies. Who knows what he was going through that made him act that way. He probably wasn’t even aware of it.
That’s the good part about growing up. We’re a little more self-aware, so we’re capable of choosing to live differently that we did as kids.
And living with less ego is a good place to start.
When I was a kid all I wanted was for people to have fun and be kind to each other.
To this day, I still find myself wishing for the same things.
It’s easier than we think. We’re just too caught up with ourselves to realize it.
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