Survival of the Fittest

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is that pushes us to needle and break down the people we don’t see as being mentally, socially, emotionally as strong as us.  Is it a leftover of a survival of the fittest instinct?  I know I lose patience too easily with the kids who are more challenging.  One girl likes to randomly start holding notes for a really long time as she works.  As in “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…”  She seems to think she’s gracing us with her talent.  Another one always has a cold and blows his nose SO FREAKING LOUD every two seconds.  Still another, with wobbly voice that gets quieter and quieter until it can hardly be heard, says “I don’t get it” to EVERYTHING when she really does but just doesn’t believe she does.  I need more patience.

Today, a student came into class and asked what we were doing.  I, in my characteristically sarcastic form of dark humor, responded that I was thinking we might sacrifice the smallest kid in the class.  Usually this gets a chuckle out of kids and it ends there.  But today, I overheard one boy as he turned to another and half jokingly said “forget the littlest, let’s just sacrifice xxxxxxxxxxx.”  Then the other one started laughing and agreed.  I got really angry.  I pulled them into the hall and reamed them out.  I threatened them with stiff consequences if I heard either of them making fun of another student ever again (they’re both students I have for academic advising so I sort of see them as “my kids” more than most).  They seemed cowed, meek.  It was a childish joke.  About a boy who, quite frankly, has some very socially inept tendencies.

Why do we tear others down?  Why don’t we (and even I) take my advice to just ignore people who bug us?  Oh, maturity.


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