Whenever kids’ disciplinary infractions are focused in the dean of students’ cross hairs, it is not unusual for them to cry in desperation, “Why are you picking on me when everybody else is doing it?…OR… Why single me out when lotsa kids are doing it as much if not more than I am?”
During our final school meeting of the winter term in Bath, I asked the students if they knew “Charlie Everybody.” Drawing looks of puzzlement, I explained, “You know, Everybody is: missing homework assignments… littering… skipping meals… smoking pot… etc.”
Some smiled. Some still looked puzzled.
I pressed on, “How about his brother Nobody?… As in “Nobody Cares.”
They seemed to be catching my drift as I wrapped it up with: “… Or his cousin Lotsa People?” I then went on an Abbott & Costello-like rant: “It’s terrible! Lotsa People have tried to stop it but Everybody’s doing it and Nobody Cares!” and on and on.
These three characters can be inserted in nearly any combination! For example, here’s the same point in reverse: “Nobody cares that Everybody’s doing it. I mean, Lotsa People have tried to stop it.” And so on.
I wrapped my piece up by introducing the notion of the majority of one, a group that begins with what “I” am going to do, regardless of what Charlie Everybody, Nobody Cares, or Lotsa People choose to do.
So, don’t compare yourself with those three clowns. Compare your performance against your own personal best, against your own potential.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld