I put up with a lot of nonsense from a lot of different people but last night definitely took the cake. I have never met a more inconsiderate, harsh, ignorant, child (despite the fact that we are the same age, I don’t want to call this person a man) in my entire life. Allow me to explain.
As many of you know I started a new job recently. With all new jobs comes new faces, new people to meet, and new friends to make, a challenge I find myself always willing to accept. Right off the bat I felt that I made a connection to this one person in particular, let’s call him Ron. Ron and I had class together the previous year and I instantly assumed we would be buddies as we were entering this new environment together. Little did I know that Ron would soon use me as his own personal punching bag to try to get laughs out of other people.
My new job is essentially a tutoring position where students seeking assistance in one or more areas of school can come and get the help they need to succeed. As my first actual shift had been nearing it’s end, mind you this is after training and rapport has been built among the entire team, Ron comes in, sits down at my table, and instantly insults my ability to tutor. Obviously no one laughed except him, and the joke really didn’t make sense in the context that we were talking about before he sat down. In other words those people you read about that put others down to make themselves feel better, Ron was is one of those guys. And right away I knew I couldn’t work with him.
As time went on, however, I thought that perhaps I had misjudged Ron. Maybe he was having a bad day or maybe I was being too sensitive. So I slowly started befriending him again, hoping that my experience with him was only due to an unfortunate circumstance.
Yesterday is when I realized that some people, in this case Ron, inflict pain on others to feel joy.
He had asked to talk to me after our all-staff meeting and so, not wanting to blow him off, I waited for him to finish whatever he was doing afterward. Long story short, in the five minutes I talked with him, around other people, he managed to insult my career choice, a career that I have dreamed of having since I was a child, insult my intelligence, and referred to me as mentally retarded. Of course there is nothing wrong with being mentally challenged, in fact I have a very soft spot in my heart for the mentally challenged. My issue with the last statement he made was not about the fact that he had called me “a retard” as he put it, but with he fact that he was using it as some form of insult. Mentally handicapped individuals are some of the strongest people I know, waking up everyday to fight a stigma that society and people like Ron put on them, working twice as hard to get done what a non-handicapped person could do in half the time. Not to mention their constant joy and positivity. Anyway, I digress.
You see my problem isn’t in Ron’s words toward me, while I admit they hurt me deeply, there is a much more pertinent issue at hand: people who hurt people to get satisfaction or some kind of self-worth. Now I am not going to cut down his character or attack Ron back, but I will say that I remember what it was to be the butt of every joke. I remember dreading going to school every day because those people, those people just like Ron, were waiting for me, waiting to get a few good laughs. I remember wanting all the pain to be silenced, to stop. I’ll be damned if I let that happen to me again.
So what do I do? How do I make sure NOT to repeat the events of my past? Not to get stuck in the rut that I once found myself?
Let it, and him, go. It is that simple. I simply have to let it go (no, not like the surprisingly catchy Disney song).
I let it go by not caring about what this Ron thinks. Realize that some people are so desperately in need of attention and affection that they will hurt whoever and whatever they can to get it. Once I realize that fact, I realize that there is no shame in wanting to be a high school teacher (still my dream, by the way). That there is nothing wrong with my intelligence (or my tutoring skills for that matter) and that some people, no matter how hard you try, will continue to be ignorant in their use of the term “Retarded” (even that word makes me cringe. I would prefer to use “Handicapped”, but I am referencing what Ron has said).
So what I have decided to do is to cut out the part of my life *cough* Ron *cough* which is putting me down, making me feel bad about myself, and just overall poison.
This was all a decision that I made last night, so I have already made the choice to leave Ron in the past and keep looking forward.
I would like to share with you a beautiful quote that somewhat explains what I’m trying to say, “People are gonna label you, but it’s how you overcome those labels. That’s what matters.” (A quote I just may dissect next week).
But for now I urge you. What is it in your life that is poisonous to you? To your concept of self-worth? Is there someone telling you that you aren’t good enough? Not strong enough? Not smart enough? Or perhaps it’s not someone, but something. Only you know what your poison is and I challenge you this week to respond to that poison and take it out of your life, to pull the poison.
Your life is too great to be snuffed by something so minute, so insignificant, so avoidable.
Thank you all.
Have a safe weekend, be safe, and remember to Always Respond.