Hey guys, what about me? Pick me, please pick me, please…. Guys? This photo makes me smile as well as cringe too. Did you ever experience being the last one chosen for a team? Probably. This was a common and painful occurrence in my childhood that many of you can identify with. About the only time this didn’t happen was when your best friend was the one in charge of picking teams, right? Thank God for friends! However, it was usually one of the more athletic kids, or the popular ones, who were appointed as team leaders. Me— bookish, gangly, uncoordinated, a little bit shy and a whole lot awkward.
How about you?
Growing up memories like these play an important role in your life story. Mine the deep dark depths for the emotion. What parts of those life lessons did you take forward into adulthood?
Do you have a greater sense of compassion because of a painful experience? Describe the how and why.
Did you hone your comic skills out of self preservation or to cope? Many famous comedians have—you’d be in good company. The great comic Robin Williams (1951-2014) once said:
“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy. Because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anybody else to feel like that.”
In a blog post for Psychology Today the day after Robin died, author Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph.D wrote, “So, when you see someone putting on a good show, go ahead and laugh. Robin Williams wouldn’t have had it any other way; neither would the kids I’ve met. But don’t let the humor fool you.”
Are you a better parent, friend, employee because of your empathy? Or maybe you’re inclined to feel anger at injustice. This resiliency shows up in folks who lived through the depression and learned to make do. It shows up in the sense of justice and honor found among many veterans and others who have lived through circumstances much more serious than being picked for a team or not.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Write about it. Talk to someone you admire and ask what helped them learn resiliency. Share your thoughts on resiliency and learning from the hard stuff with the next generation, they need to hear it!