thekhooll: Skate Jodie Foster on a skateboard -1976
thekhooll: Skate Jodie Foster on a skateboard -1976
Bob Saget: Saying fuck you to gender roles since 1994.
The Story of Kyle
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.”
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up, and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.
My heart went out to him. So I jogged over to him, and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.” He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before, but we talked all the way home, and I carried his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes.
We hung out all weekend, and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.
On graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him! Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech, so I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. “Thanks,” he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach — but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.” I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.”
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture, you can change a person’s life.
Run to Feed the Hungry 10K yesterday morning and a new PR this morning :)
Many of us tend to associate stress with things like personal relationships, finances, physical health, family issues, work issues and important life events. However, other issues that are completely unconscious or almost entirely out of our awareness can heavily influence stress levels. Common “hidden” stressors like these often include:
Telling lies can be a huge contributor to hidden stress, and is one of the most common and widespread causes. Though telling lies that seem risky in terms of getting caught are also stressful, it’s the lies that that are believed to have lowest risk of being caught that tend to create the most hidden stress. Lies that are believed to be high risk tend to be very prominent in our awareness, and subsequently usually involve preparedness for getting caught and familiarity with potential negative consequences. Lies that are perceived as low risk are more likely to be denied and pushed out of awareness, resulting in less preparedness for potential negative consequences and much more potential for hidden and unconscious stress.
Keeping secrets to avoid unwanted negative consequences can cause extreme amounts of unconscious stress, even if the secret has been kept for a very long time, and the person keeping it doesn’t have conscious awareness that it is taking any kind of emotional toll. This kind of hidden stress tends to be directly related to an individual’s morals and belief system. The more out of line the secret is with a person’s values, the heavier the burden of hidden stress. This kind of stress often involves hypocrisy. For example: A parent who chastises their child for behaviors they frequently engaged in themselves at the same age without remorse or regret may feel hidden stress.
Hidden stress is very often related to unconscious fears. Common fears of this kind are frequently related to vulnerability, rejection, abandonment and loss. These kinds of hidden stresses are often related to romantic and other interpersonal relationships. These kinds of relationships involve emotional intimacy, and emotional intimacy is impossible without vulnerability to being hurt, betrayed or abandoned.
Situations and relationships in our current life can often trigger hidden and unconscious stress related to past emotionally traumatic experiences. The more traumatic the past experience, the higher the likelihood of hidden stress created by current life triggers.
The way to eliminate all four types of hidden stressors is the same. Remember that the power of hidden stressors lies largely in the lack of awareness around them. Developing insight and awareness that they might be influencing you is essential. Take a deep and honest look at all four categories above, and ask yourself if it’s possible that hidden stressors of each type might be influencing you. If you can, be specific and list your guesses about what hidden stressors you might have in each category.
Revisit this kind of self-check periodically and stay on top of hidden stressors. Facing these kinds of issues head on may seem daunting at first, but the toll it takes over time when they remain hidden can be much worse.