What do you do when “stuff” happens?

When I was in elementary school, for reasons unknown, a group of boys on the school playground were betting on whether I or another boy (whom I did not know) would win in a fight.  The group grew in numbers, and soon I and the other boy found ourselves being pushed into a growing circle of chanting, jeering boys, until we were goaded into a one-on-one brawl.  After several minutes of pounding each other to the immense gratification of the crowd of onlookers, a teacher arrived on the scene and pulled us apart.  After appropriately chastising the victims of the playground mob, she had us sit out the remainder of recess away from the other kids, each at the opposite poles of an “H” shaped football goal (common in those days).  After a while the boredom of sitting there led us to start a conversation.  We both learned that neither had wanted any part of the fight in the first place, and eventually we found quite a bit of common ground.  In fact, as a result of that forced fight we shortly became fast friends and playmates.

Let it be known that I do not recommend picking fights as a way of securing friends.  But there is a body of evidence suggesting that good things often can come out of “misfortune” and adversity.  But also notice that the result of any situation also depends on something you do:  If I had never spoken with the other boy, I would have missed out on a great friendship.

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1 Comment

  1. Jason Ruggles

     /  January 28, 2012

    I never knew this! That must have been an awful feeling to be shoved into a fight. But awesome you got a friend out of the deal.

    Reply

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