Do you remember how you felt in and just after high school? That feeling you could do anything? Young strong and healthy, full of ambition and ready for anything! You started your first real job, maybe bought your first car. You thought, “now I’m on my way” to bigger and brighter things.
For some, that’s exactly what happened. For others, not so much. Bad things happen to many people. For some, it seems to make them stronger, others crack and fail. I read once that we are the sum of genetics, upbringing and our life experiences. But what about intelligence, adaptability or willpower? Are they taught or are they just in some people and not others? Are parents to blame for the lack thereof, or can it be the schools that should bare some of the blame?
I don’t think there is any one answer for all. I grew up in a pretty good household compared to others. I never felt lacking for anything even though we were close to poor. I did well in school until 8th grade when I started to rebel. I’m not completely sure why, but part of it was the teachers I had took no direct interest in me even though I was working at a higher level than most of my classmates. I had one science teacher notice, and he tried to help, but I think his hands were tied as far as how much he could do. I felt it was such a waste of time being there that I quit on my 16th birthday and aced the GED equivalency test with a 98. A year later, I took my first collage class in computers and did well until I got pneumonia and missed my finals for that semester. They said I could make it up for more money. I could not come up with the extra cash, so I had to drop out. That was a hard lessen in how life and people can be so unfair. I’ve had many other bad experiences, including a bad marriage, career changes and the like, just like allot of other people. I worked for a company that I gave my heart and soul to. I moved to another state, worked ridiculous hours only to have someone else get the credit for all my hard work. My work ethic died a little that day. This all led to my becoming more and more cynical. I pulled away from society and limited my contact with others. What makes one person respond one way and not another?
As I reflect back on my life’s lessons, I realize just how badly my mind was clouded by the lifestyle I was leading. I had everything going for me, but no clear path to follow. I know now I was to blame as much as anything, but at that age, like most of us, I thought I had it all figured out. Boy was I wrong! I think I have a better plan now. Some people never figure it out. I will continue down the path I have chosen, with all it’s caution signs, and try to make the best decisions I can. I’m trying very hard to get back that feeling I had as a teenager, tempered with the wisdom of an adult. I’m trying to loose the cynical attitude I have about others. They can’t all be bad, can they?