There once was a boy who was 12 years old.  The boy was of average height, but a little on the skinny side.  He liked school and was not popular, but not unpopular either.  He was involved in Boy Scouts and one day his fellow scouts decided to make a nickname for him.  Sadly, they settled on a name he did not particularly enjoy.  They called him “Squeeky”.  How humiliating!  Couldn’t they have chosen something more appropriate like “Dragon Slayer” or something?  He did not even know the reason why they chose the name.

The boy made it obvious that he did not like the name.  He wanted everyone to know so that they would stop!  He decided he would tell the other scouts off every time they used it.  This only added fuel to the fire, encouraging the other boys.

At a Monday evening meeting the situation came to a boil.  The scouts had been teasing him the entire meeting.  He could do nothing to make them stop.  Everything he tried made them redouble their efforts.  He was extremely frustrated.  As the flag ceremony ended the boy was full of anger.  Every part of his body was tense and he wanted to hit something, right now!  He marched past his mother and punched the wall with all his might.

Unluckily for the boy, walls do not take kindly to being punched.  The boy broke his pinky finger at the knuckle, ouch.  It was even on his right hand!  The boy and his mother spent the rest of the evening in the emergency room.  She helped him do his homework because he couldn’t write anymore.  The next day at the doctors office the doctor told him, “Next time punch a pillow.”  “Ugh”, how stupid he felt, “thanks doc….”

Because of the cast, the boy carried around a reminder of his mistake for six months.  He had time to think it over.  He thought, “why didn’t I punch the kids who were making fun of me!?”  He decided that wouldn’t have solved much.  More importantly he thought, “why did I hurt myself over what other people do or think?”  The day he got his cast off, he promised himself that he would never let people’s actions shape his opinions about himself again.  The boy’s name was Tyler, and he has kept his promise.

Did you learn any hard lessons when you were young?  Share in the comments below!