Judging character (even at a young age)Submitted by What's in a name on Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:43
"Be nice to everyone."
"Be extra-nice to kids who don't seem to have any friends."
These are words my wife shared with our niece before her first day of school at a new school a few years back...
I was brought up along the same lines and always took on the role of defender of the bullied on the playground as a kid. I was reminded of one bullied kid in particular last week.
I'd met Scott when we were in 7th grade. He was geeky and chubby and he was often the target of bullies. I befriended Scott... I felt bad for him. As I got to know him, I felt worse for him. He said his dad hit him often and that he'd not seen his mom since he was very, very young. His life was chaotic from the get-go.
As a 12 year-old he was into petty theft as a rush. He'd steal pointless items for which he had no use just for the high associated with getting away with it... He was the single worst influence ever in my life. I never got in trouble for any of the things we did, or the behaviors I picked up in hanging out with Scott, but I knew even at 12 that he was bad news.
Scott moved away freshman year and we lost contact at that point. I joked with other friends that Scott would end up dead or in prison by the time he was 35... A friend shared this link the other day:
I guess I'm a good judge of character after all.