You can't please them all

Tommy loves Colorado Springs.  Although being young and only in middle school, he appreciates the beauty that he see's each day when he wakes up.  

As he has gotten older and into middle school his parents allow for him to walk to school each day.  Sometimes he walks alone, but most of the time it is a group of friends walking with him.  "Hurry up Tommy" yelled the new kid Devon. "You are always falling behind!"  "I am not" yelled back Tommy.  This new kid Devon seemed to be everyone's favorite.  He just can't seem to get anything wrong.  It appeared to Tommy that even the teachers like him.  But no matter how hard Tommy tried, he just couldn't get Devon to be nice to him.

"I will help you with those" said Tommy to Lisa in the hallway.  Lisa and Tommy have known each other since kindergarten.  That is almost a lifetime in the eyes of these two young kids.  Lisa was carrying her books and trying to open her locker at the same time.  "Thanks, everyone else just walked by and either laughed at me or acted like they didn't see me." said Lisa.  "Well I have been told that I am not like everyone else" laughed Tommy.  "And that is true" responded Lisa.  After kneeling down to help her put the books in her locker and pick up the apple that fell out of Lisa's lunch bag, they both walked to class.  "See you around Tommy" said Lisa as she entered her class.

Tommy sat in his usual seat for math, next to Derrick.  Derrick was cool.  He always spoke to Tommy and made him laugh.  Sometimes he would make Tommy laugh so hard that he would get in trouble from the teacher. But Tommy thought he could get in trouble for far worse than laughing at Derricks jokes.  Try as hard as he could Derrick struggled pretty badly with math.  He wasn't lazy.  He really tried, but he just can't seem to get it.  During their study time and working on assignments, Ms. Shaver, the math teacher, noticed how Tommy always took time to help Derrick.  In fact, not only does he help Derrick but she has noticed him during lunch helping other kids with their math work as well.  She often told Tommy how grateful she is to have such a nice young man in her class, but Tommy just smiled and acted like it was no big deal.

"You're sitting with us again" Devon said with a voice full of disrespect and content. "Sitting with you" said Tommy "Most of us have been sitting together since Kindergarten. So maybe it is you choosing to sit with us again."  Everyone laughed, but Devon didn't seem to like it much.  Tommy, being the great kid that he is took out the Three Musketeers candy bar from his lunch bag.  He heard Devon say before that he really likes those.  "Hey Devon." When Devon turned toward Tommy, Tommy tossed the Three Musketeers bar to him. "I don't want this, you can have it."  Devon caught it and threw it back "I don't need anything from you." Tommy, leaned his head to the side and shrugged his shoulders allowing his body language to say "Whatever". 

On the way home after school Tommy and four of his friends were walking home throwing the football.  Soon it turned into a game of light tackle.  Tommy saw Devon standing off to the side continuing his journey.  "Catch" yelled Tommy as he tossed the ball to Devon.  Devon caught it and then punted the ball away away from Tommy and his friends and kept on walking home.  "Why do you bother" asked Tommy's friend Nick.  "He always treats you like a jerk."  "Yeah, I know, but him treating me like a jerk doesn't mean that I have to treat him like one right?" said Tommy.  "Yeah I guess" said Nick "Toss me the ball."

"Dinner is ready" said Tommy's mom.  Tommy was hungry from all the running after school and playing football with his friends.  As they sat at the table Tommy's dad began to talk.  "I received a call from your school today Tommy."  Tommy being alarmed look at his dad with a worried expression.  "I didn't do anything" said Tommy as he began searching his brain to try to figure out what he had done that caused the school to call.  "Ms. Shaver called today to tell me that she is so proud of you.  She and the other teachers have noticed you around school and how you are always so helpful."  Tommy began to smile "And that is why she is a little concerned."  "Concerned" asked Tommy "Concerned about what. "Well, she said lately you seem to be a little down and not your usual self.  She has noticed that a new kid hasn't been to nice you.  Is he bullying you?" "No. No one is bullying me" replied Tommy.  "Then why would Ms. Shaver and others think that you are acting down lately."  

Tommy took a breath and began explaining.  "Dad I have tried everything with this kid.  I have been nice to him even when he has been rude and mean to me.  I have introduced him to friends for him to then try to turn them against me.  I have invited him to play football with us and he just is mean."  "And him being mean to you has gotten you down or depressed" asked his father.  "No, well, I don't know.  I just am not use to someone being so mean for no reason."  "Tommy, you just can't please all people.  You are allowing the negative mindset of this personal to take a negative impact on your life.  Ms. Shaver mentioned that a young lady in school told her how nice you are because you helped her when she dropped her books." "Yeah that was Lisa." said Tommy.  "She also mentioned that you help a lot of people in school with their math work and especially a kid named Derrick."  "Derrick is cool Dad, he just doesn't math so I help him out a little."  "Tommy when you just spoke about Lisa and Derrick you smiled.  Your shoulders pulled back and you spoke with pride.  But when you spoke of the new kid Devon, your whole personality changed.  "Its just..." began Tommy before being interrupted by his Dad "It's just that you want to please everyone, but to do that means that you cannot be true to yourself.  Some people are going to like you and others are going to hate you for many different reasons.  All you can do is be true to yourself.  Don't allow yourself to become down over the way someone else feels about you.  You cannot change them, you can only be the best that you can be. If they accept that, Great.  But if they don't, sometimes you just have to move on." "In other words" said his mom "Do not allow anyone to steal your joy.  Yes, be nice Tommy. But do not become sad over someone not accepting you being nice to them.  You simply have to move on and celebrate the many positive lives that you impacted like Ms. Shaver, Derrick, and Lisa."  Tommy smiled as he began to understand. "So its not my job to make people like me.  How they feel is on them. I just can't allow their feelings to stop me from doing what I believe is write when helping others and being myself."  "You got it" said his dad.  "Hey this is pretty cool mom and dad."  "What is" asked his mom. "This kinda feels like one of those old shows you had me watch.  The Leave it to Beaver guy.  On those shows there is always some moral to the story and the Dad or older brother kind of teach the Beaver about it."  Tommy's mom and dad laughed and said "Yeah Tommy I guess it is."

 



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