NOTE: I will be speaking metaphorically throughout this writing. Some readers will get it, others will be lost. I implore you to READ the entire post anyway. Perhaps all will become clear.
A little more than two years ago (2010), when I turned 50, I “graduated” with “honors” from the “class” of the largest “schools” ever known to exist (and one which many people still talk about). That school is: “School of Life”; the class: “Life Class 101”. Believe me, during Life Class 101, I came to do and experience many things I never thought I ever would! I’ve met many people. I’ve traveled much of the world while honorably serving my country, and I’d seen places and things and bore witness to much that many of you reading this post have only heard about in the media or from someone/place else. I’ve had pleasures and pain; I’ve had fun and sadness and yes, even some bitter, quite unexpected, disappointments. I expect to get more of all that as the Creator blesses me with each new day! I’ve paid some heavy “dues” and hefty “fines” along the way while a student in Life Class 101. All in all however, I’ve learned some VERY IMPORTANT, VERY VALUABLE lessons while in that Class. It wasn’t always easy!
There are THOUSANDS of students in Life Class 101! In fact, quite a large number of them, many as old as me or older, are still struggling to pass! Unfortunately, some had to leave Life Class 101 a little earlier than expected due to either a life-long or unexpected illness. Still others were forced out of Class through the robbery of their lives by some cowardly person(s), while others left Class by the decision to sacrifice their lives while in the service to others in some honored capacity. I salute those very special Classmates of mine and hope to see or meet them all when the Dean of the School of Life (God) tells me, “Well done, my son. Come home.” Now, many other students of Life Class 101 chose to neglect the requirements of the Class and failed to do the work needed to succeed and pass this class. Many of these particular but now FORMER students chose to give up the struggle by allowing themselves to become involved in risky behaviors and/or engage in criminal activities; many which resulted in imprisonment, capital punishment, or meeting Death at the business-end of some weapon and/or by means of their own sheer carelessness. Finally, I cannot ignore the fact that hundreds of other students in Life Class 101 dropped out the School itself by means of… suicide. Those poor men and women simply could not handle the inconsistent twists and turns, the ups and downs, or the too-hot, too-cold, or worse, the lukewarm attitudes of other people, all which were given in various degrees by the School of Life itself. (I never once said nor implied that I liked the way the School functioned! Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.) Those poor students needed a Life Class 101 “tutor” or “coach”; a person, perhaps two, who were willing to efficiently provide support, a listening ear, a kind word, a little attention, some care, and some love and understanding toward them. It’s been said that “nothing in life is fair”. I think the official School motto is “Welcome to Life; Nothing Here is Fair”. For all I know, this [imaginary] sign – not my mother, my father or some birthing doctor – was probably the FIRST thing I saw as I exited my mother’s vagina 52 years ago! The School of Life proves that nothing in it is fair because it, like any school, has its share of “bullies”, too! Some of these bullies (in no particular order) are:
- Lack of Attention/Ignorance
- Lack of Confidence/Self Worth
You get the idea. Of course, this list is by no means conclusive!
I am grateful for all that I have learned and endured while a student in Life Class 101. I’ve had three (3) good foster parents, two good foster families, a lot of good teachers and mentors interested in ME, and some positive role models who contributed to my successful passing of that Class. And while to some it may seem unlikely, I even learned a thing or two from both my old and current enemies. I say “thank-you” to all those people for helping me prepare for School of Life – CLASS 201!
Today, I’ve been in Life Class 201 for two (2) years, eight months, six days, and counting! I’m better prepared and skilled to handle petty bullshit issues and can more easily discern from that which is TRUE from that which is total BULLSHIT than ever before! While I pride myself on being as honest as only I feel the need to be (meaning, I don’t believe I need to be honest about EVERY damn thing), I’ve even learned to dish a little bullshit myself! I am a living example of the old adage, “you can’t bullshit a bullshitter.” But, I digress! I am more prepared now to meet the challenges that certain bullies (see the list) in the School of Life will throw at me in an attempt to trip me up. While I may trip or even fall, I am confident that I can certainly get back up a helluva lot faster than ever before! With that said, I honestly believe that there is not very much that surprises me. Life continues to come out with new things. Many things, which were once “old” tends to become “new” again. I’ve seen it! You younger readers will too, someday! I may be startled but not surprised at some of those new things. There IS a difference between being “startled” and being “surprised” and I have years of memories and experience which allows me to make certain comparisons to any new thing!
Finally, while in Life Class 201, I will survive, have fun, live and enjoy MY life – MY way – and do it all without the abstract reservations or judgments of other people – be they friend, family, or acquaintance, who refuse to respect me and the choices made which I feel will bring me joy and contentment. I shall do his until the Dean Himself says “it’s time to come home.” I will never stupidly say to the School of Life, “bring it on”, for in my opinion, only a fool invites trouble unto himself needlessly! To meet and surpass any challenges the “bullies” of the School (see the list above) throw at me, all I want and need are the lessons and experiences learned while in Life Class 101, my inner spiritual strength, and the love, respect, and support of others who are here on Earth and from God above, as I wear proudly the Life armor earned and awarded to me during the first fifty years of my life! I have a long way to go but I think enduring and passing Life Class 201 is going to be a lot easier for me!