One day, the condescending kid (let's call him Jack) was saying some harsh words to the other kid (let's call him Ross) to the point that I've felt for Ross. But here's the thing: Jack and Ross are good friends and they hang out with each other outside of school.
Here's another thing: Ross keeps hanging out with Jack even though Jack is usually condescending towards him.
One day, I had a discussion with the entire class (there are only 9 students total) addressing both Jack and Ross. The whole class agreed that Jack is very condescending, especially on a daily basis. Ross quickly admits that Jack is condescending. So why is Ross still hanging out with Jack?
I've asked Ross during this class time to name me just FIVE good things that Jack said about him. Just five things. He couldn't think of anything. So I just asked for FOUR good things...then THREE...then TWO....then ONE. Nope, Ross couldn't think of ANYTHING good that Jack said about him!
So, I asked him to name me five BAD things that Jack said about him. He quickly, in less than 5 seconds, named 5 derogatory things Jack said about him. Yet, Ross still hangs out with Jack.
So, you're wondering if Ross has any other friends he could hang out with. Yes, I've asked that question and the answer is that there aren't many kids his age that he could hang around with. He is simply limited to the boys in his school (which is a VERY small school of 40 students). So by default, he is good friends with Jack -- Jack and a few other boys are really all Ross has as far as friends go.
Yet, I don't feel sorry for Ross. He's about 13 years old. He thoroughly understands that being condescending is wrong. He doesn't feel good about Jack's derogatory words to him. But he puts up with it because he doesn't think there is anything better for him out there.
Don't we usually feel the same about situations in life? We subject ourselves to the wrong things because we don't think there is anything better out there. We have friends who are no good for us, work at jobs that are destroying our health, and pursuing things that won't make any positive difference in our lives or someone else's life. When we think there is nothing better for us, we would subject ourselves to the wrong things.
My first school teaching job was at an "inner city" school -- which is euphemism for ghetto school. I didn't even try to pursue the "nice schools" where I could simply focus on being a teacher and not a cop. I went for a school I thought would be easy to get into.
Guess what? I was hired on the spot -- well actually, I was hired later that night after the assistant principal talked with the principal. I had no interview. I was just hired. That was the easy part. But my experience teaching at that school was one of the WORST experiences I had in my life!
I've subjected myself to pain because I thought I didn't have a chance anywhere else. God forgive me for not trusting him!
When we subject ourselves to bad situations, we do a disservice to ourselves. We don't think much of ourselves to believe that we could do better, have better, achieve better. We have no respect for ourselves so that we could pursue better. We think so low of ourselves that we would default to anything or anyone that would have us.
Give yourself a chance to find better opportunities in life.
- Find people who would lift you up and leave the ones who bring you down.
- Find the jobs that you could enjoy -- and if the pay is low, then simply adjust your living standards.
- Go to school for something you actually want to do -- even if others think you won't ever make a living with it.
- Pursue dreams that bring you to life -- don't pursue someone else's dreams.
Don't subject yourself to the closest thing to you. Don't subject yourself to the easiest way to travel. Believe that you could do better in life, and you will find ways to be in situations that you actually want to be in.