Sunday, February 2, 2014

Don't Be A Dick

When I was ten years old, Chase Larsen pinned me to the ground with a folding chair and said four simple words that completely changed my behavior: “You are so annoying.”

It was in that moment where I came to believe that I needed to be a jerk to go somewhere in life.

For full effect, download "Ramblin' Man" by The Allman Brothers and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I say that being a jerk will get you somewhere because in my head Chase Larsen was one of the cool kids, one of the popular guys. He wore Rusty and Billabong T-shirts with Doc Marten sandals and dated Melanie Law, one of the prettiest girls in the whole school, and if he could make a derogatory comment to me and make the entire class laugh, this had to be the only way to achieve social success. Therefore in my mind if I wanted to become popular, if I wanted to achieve something in this life, if I ever wanted to have a chance with a girl like Melanie Law, I felt I had to do one thing: I had to be a dick. 

And boy, over the years I sure have been a big one. 

Since that outlook-changing moment on the floor of Mrs. Gooch’s classroom, my insulting perspective on how I should live my life only increased with the amount of mean things I could say to another person, and the echoes of laughter I heard from my peers. Sadly, over the years my condescending words were only fueled by comedic performances of David Spade, Dane Cook, and Daniel Tosh, but nonetheless the more I grew, the meaner I became. And the more I thought people liked me as a person.

Now please don’t be confused, this is not some type of confessional blogpost where I clean out my closet and feel regret for the number of self-esteems I have damaged over the years. And no, there has not been any type of come-to-Jesus, tear-jerking story that recently brought me to my knees in humility. No, that's not how life works. Things aren't always dramatically-inspired by Hollywood as we all think they are. Or how we want them to be.

No, this week I've just been thinking a lot about the direction I am headed, the choices I have made, and the times where I have pulled a Chase Larsen on someone and thought that making fun of their haircut, or race, or lack of education in a sarcastically demeaning way put me further ahead in the game of life. Because after all is said and done, I'm sure there is not going to be a paraded showcase of all the witty jabs we made at people over the years. That’s not what we want our life’s legacy to be looking like when the big man upstairs questions how we spent our brief existence on this planet.   

St. Peter: "Well, you may have done some great things here and there over the years with having a family, a career, and all that, but I can safely say that the crowning achievement in your life came your junior year of high school when you poked fun at Becky Palmer for having an unpopped pimple.”  

Me: "Oh yeah. She totally deserved that!"

She didn't though. And that is not something that I want to have be the Hallmark statement for how I lived my life. 

And I don't think you do either. 

Again, I am not trying to spiritually motivate you to become a better person, I know that blogposts are not game changers that completely restructure the way you should live your life. Who knows why posts like this are created anyway? I’m putting my money on the fact that my current bout with rhabdomyolysis has triggered a few life-speculating moments in my sentimental stupor. Although Logan Bentley thinks my delirium is caused by something completely different, either way, something has forced me to wonder about what “I wished” I would have done differently in my life.

I wish I could go back and not attack Mandy’s integrity while playing Mafia. I wish I could go back and not make fun of Megan for being half-black. I wish I could go back and not laugh at the overweight girl working as hard as she could to speed walk on a treadmill. I wish a lot of things. But sometimes, the one thing I wish the most is that I could go back to being a ten year-old kid being pinned to the ground by a folding chair and hear four completely different words from the mouth of Chase Larsen:

Don't be a dick.

What do you think?

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