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Why I am the way I am

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I have been told (by those who love me) that I am a "cynical" person. Cynical meaning that I am distrustful of human nature and motives. I do believe this analysis is a bit extreme, but I do think there is some truth in this assessment. Why?

"I am going to be good today" was all that crossed my four year old mind as my pre-kindergarten class sat in a neat row against the lunchroom wall. We (we children) all eagerly awaited to be admitted into the lunchroom (we had to wait for the older class to finish). I even remember being told by an older class to get up, or to talk to our peers. Some of my classmates may have succumbed to the temptation, and started to talk to their neighbor. But not I. I remained silent, never phased by the persuasion. "I am going to be good today". I was determined, I had formed my resolve, I was a tiny package of iron will and... The child next to me raised their hand. The teacher walked over. The little imp said "Tybalt is bothering me". The teacher then turned on me. I was scolded. Of course, and we went on about our business sitting against that wall. "I am going to be good today". I distinctly remember thinking this. I moved over a little from the child. I tried to distance myself as much as I possibly could. But despite my best efforts he raised his hand and proclaimed... "Tybalt is bothering me"!... I got the normal punishment for a second time offence. Some hard time standing with my nose on the wall. I only have two more clear memories of that year of school. One was when I was playing in the playground and noticed that my shoes were untied. I casually went up to the teacher and asked her to tie them for me. She said "Oh, so are mine" then bending over, she tied her own shoes, and resumed talking to the other adult she was with. My other memory was of an exceptionally delicious piece of strawberry shortcake that was served at lunch. I asked for seconds, but the teacher said no. Go figure.

My mother has told me that I was appalled... no, beside myself at this first incident. I realized, right then and there, that life is unfair. You can only treat people fairly and hope, no, pray to God that they return the favor. As result of this, I am no longer so surprised when I see people act surprisingly. I don't think that someone should use cynicism as an excuse to act badly to their fellow man. But people should not be so naive to believe that people will always treat you with the basic respect that you are due.

At one time, I believed that most people were good at heart. That still may be true, but you can't expect everyone to be innately good at heart. If you lower your expectations of people, then you may be pleasantly surprised by someone's high morals. Most importantly, if you lower your expectations, you won't be caught off guard by someone's ill intentions.

Maybe I am a cynic. Maybe the diagnosis is just, and I am guilty as charged. I am fine with it. I have been told that I have brought up said incident every year for ten years since pre-kindergarten. It is true that I have remembered such a minor incident for so long. Maybe I should move on. I believe I already have. But, don't forget... I did remember that exceptionally delicious piece of strawberry shortcake served at lunch, just as long.




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b_swain said...
Mar. 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm:
I like how you were able to analyze yourself from an outside & inside point of view not everyone can do that. my favorite line was "if you lower your expectations, you won't be caught off guard by someone's ill intentions.'" it's just soo true.
 
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Hay_Wire This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 26, 2009 at 11:23 pm:
that....is quite amazing. you managed to analyze yourself...wow.
 
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Tybalt said...
Oct. 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm:
Comments and ratings are welcome
 
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