…or I could title this post “Don’t be a prick.”
I have been doing some reminiscing lately. Last weekend was my 10 year high school reunion and I also visited with some old friends from college at a wedding. In both cases it was great to think back to the way things used to be.
I thoroughly enjoyed my high school years. Beth and I started dating, I had lots of good friends, an appropriate amount of freedom, and was involved in things I really enjoyed (racing mountain bikes, playing soccer and roller hockey, etc.).
It is easy to look back and recount all the good times. At the same time, I have to remember that high school was not an easy world to live in if you were on the fringe. I have several friends who look to their reunion with disdain. One person even said to me, “why would I want to go back 10 years later – I didn’t like those people a decade ago, why would like to be around them now?”
It really hit home for me when one gentleman from my high school class said to me, “I am surprised more people don’t still think of you as a prick.” That statement didn’t offend me because I knew he was right. While my life was pretty great, I am sure I made high school hell for others (especially as a Sophomore and Junior).
A lot can change in a decade. There are few things that I look back at from high school and can say I still significantly proud of (sure they were “The glory days”, but how much of it really matters?). On the other hand, I still have several regrets – especially when I think of the way I treated people. I know that in an attempt to make high school “the best of times” for me, I made it “the worst of times” for others.
Some people say if they had it all to do again they would do it all the same. Well… that isn’t me… I would change things. If I could tell High School Ben Kickert any piece of advice it would simply be “Don’t be a prick!”