A Lesson in Living

Kevin - Altoona, Iowa
Entered on September 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I remember my dad always telling me to be nice, but to always stand my ground. Through my life I have followed this even when it means getting in trouble. I have been in a couple situations that I stood my ground and got in trouble. For example, in Junior High a kid tried pushing me around because of his papers were all over the ground, I took action and stood my ground. At school you sit in in-school suspension for the consequence of standing your ground. So far I have lived by this piece of advice my dad gave me.

Freshman year I heard a quote from the 26th president of the United States of America Theodore Roosevelt. He said “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” There are many ways to speak soft and carry a big stick. For me my big stick is that I am smarter than most people believe I am. That allows me on a little higher playing field then what they are on. Sometimes it is quite funny what people try to say to get me down in the dumps, so I just laugh. That and I don’t mind making fun of my self when people are trying to bring me down. There have been many times in my life I have been made fun of. Most of the time by friends, but I have also make fun of them. When I am being made fun of, I turn the joke around adding something to the joke making theirs seem dull so they stop. When I was younger I use to get real hot-headed and take offense and do something stupid to try and get back at them. Now I learned that adding on to their joke most of the time it gets them off my back, therefore standing my ground.

Everyone has been made fun of before, but some have had to work with people that love playing practical jokes but can’t take one themselves. During the state fair I had to work with a couple guys like that. They got me with a couple of jokes by hiding the keys to my cart, knowingly being in the way, and honking at me when they got a chance. I was able to get them back by hiding their lunch, telling them the boss wanted them to make an ice run which were usually the hardest runs, and I bet them in a game of bean bags that I won. That drove them nuts, and to the point where one of them came up to fight me. So I told him that you have to be able to take what you dish out. Then, I told him “I don’t like to fight but I’m not scared to bleed” A quote from Country signer Eric Church song. I was lucky that day when I did not have to fight.

Through my life I have found two quotes that sums up what my dad said to me when I was younger. One from Theodore Roosevelt “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” And Eric Church “I don’t like to fight but I’m not scared to bleed.”

So following what these two men said, and listening to my dad I like to believe I have had one lesson in life: Be kind, but defend yourself.