Do you ever feel like you want to fit in with everyone around you?

It’s very natural, and we want to do it, I guess, as human beings. In fact, that’s one reason it’s so important who you select to spend your time with, because you’re going to become like them. Here’s an experience that illustrates that process from… This is probably fifth or sixth grade. They had installed in the playground at the Rose Park Elementary these steel poles filled with concrete every three feet or so. They were there to stop cars from being able to drive out on the playground, right? So it’s for protection from the playground area from the parking lot area. Well, we would be out there around them and the cool kids, well, everyone I think, would put your hands on it and hop over. It was just like a leapfrog game with those poles.

Well, some of the cool guys could actually jump over it without putting their hands on the post for leverage first. I wanted to be a cool guy, so I tried, and I missed. Guess where I landed. Even your fifth-grade privates feel it when your whole body comes down on top of them as a boy, and it was painful. And so while I’m there in my agony, you’re also… Socially, everyone’s out there around you, you can’t show how much pain you’re in, all right? So even though you’ve just smashed your budding manhood, you can’t let people know that it’s painful to do that. And so you’re doing your best you can to not let the tears come out of your eyes while you wander off acting like you’re not in pain and finding seclusion to where you can just break down until you recover.

Now, it’s funny now, but how many of us do that or the equivalent of that emotionally in adulthood? We don’t want people to see the pain we’re in. We do something maybe that’s done that puts us in that pain. Maybe it’s because who we hung around with, maybe it’s our devices that we make those mistakes, and then we don’t want people to see them. Even like this on social media, we always try to put our best foot forward. We don’t want people to see the real us because the real us isn’t good enough. Well, hopefully, one of the lessons that we can all learn is that the real you really is good enough, and actually has a lot to offer all of those around you. But pick your friends carefully, be careful if you’re tempted to hop over a pole without hands, and learn whatever other life lessons you can from my experience so that you don’t have to go through the pain that I did.