The morning has not even reached 60-degrees and currently rests at 58-degrees; however, I still find it quite comfortable on the deck. The Quartet shifts from high alert to could-care-less attitudes as the world continues to wake within and beyond our borders. The Haasminster cardinal cantor has been bellowing since 5:30 AM and shows no signs of ceasing.
It’s a day entirely free of teaching and strolling through the park, thus my only day assigned just to me.
I woke around 5:00 AM, wrestling with sleep over an ongoing issue that is not appearing to abate any time soon. I finally got to Zoom with my son in England, an attorney, and he advised me of some options and suggested how I might consider proceeding.
Ironically, a student contacted me, asking for advice on handling a bullying situation for which he is also the target. I could clearly recognize the frustration, aggravation, and seeming sense of “what am I doing to invite this aggressive behavior from someone with whom I have little contact?” I happen to know both parties and am not ignorant that my student’s confidence and exuberant personality are in direct contrast to the other individual’s lack of confidence and oft catty behavior. It is very simple. The other young adult is threatened and perhaps, a bit jealous of my student who is always rewarded lead roles and solos for his hard work and consistent fine efforts.
The performing arts are not immune from such critical behaviors but they do seem to collect their fair share of individuals that “toss shade” at others when threatened for whatever reason. One of the most collaborative fields knows a share of divisiveness due to the reasons experienced by my student.
Waving an olive branch or striking up a conversation to soothe the frustrated opposition does not always work. I am always an optimist but I fear this time, I am struggling with this received treatment. I am accustomed to acknowledging it in the performing arts and this scenario is perplexing. Perhaps this, too, shall pass; however, I am fifty-seven and just not into the uninvited games imposed by others. Politely standing my ground and refusing to be antagonized or bullied has permitted the other individual to turn the table so they might wear the mantle of being the victim. Alas, I must make a decision as to which steps to take. A sheer waste of my time and energies yet it must be addressed.
I am hoping the deck will be my primary station throughout the morning and afternoon as I research, plot, and maybe even write.
Yesterday at the park, two grandparents, their adult daughter, and two grade school-aged grandsons came to The Atrium, excited for their Dayton history adventure. The eldest grandson, a 5th grader, had come to the park several weeks back with his classroom. His mother said he had not stopped talking about all the neat things he had seen and experienced during his class visit. Since his Myrtle Beach, South Carolina grandparents were visiting, he was excited and determined to share his newfound enthusiasm with them and the rest of his family. After they stepped away, the grandmother returned and asked how she might purchase a membership for her daughter’s family. “We are just blown away by his enthusiasm with this place and he’s already begging his mom to come back when they can bring his dad.”
Yes! Yes! Yes! What an uplifting, invigorating moment to experience. I recognized my own enthusiasm and passion for history in the young fellow. Like him, I was so lucky to have parents and grandparents who never threw any cold water on my passions. Even well into adulthood, they supported and cheered me onward and upward with everything.
Stay strong of mind and heart, and wish no person ill-will, even when they exasperate the hell out of your peace-filled world. Each of us is not free of a struggle or two, and it is vital we keep in mind that less agreeable folks are, perhaps, struggling a bit more with life. We should always make it a great day and if we have the ability, we should also demonstrate to others how they can also make their own day great.