I Was Not Born With a Pair - Bro

Like all good children I was taught to sit down and shut up. I stayed in line at school and followed rules to a fault. I have not changed much from this upbringing. I still try to keep my head down, not upset anyone, and follow the rules. The thing that has changed as I get older is I have learned that sometimes you have to push yourself to grow.

One of the earliest memories of learning I have to push is when I was about 10 years old. One of my friend’s dad insisted that he had given me some baseball tickets and I had then lost them. I insisted up and down that I did not have them to my mother, but she did not believe me. After arguing with my mother, and a week of searching for the tickets I did not have, the friend’s dad called to inform us that he had misplaced the tickets and found them. I still remember the feeling of shock when it dawned on me that an ADULT could be wrong. To this day I still get joy when I remind my mom of the time I was right and she was wrong.
In my day to day life I have to make an effort to be assertive and speak up when I need to. I don’t like to speak in front of people but when it is required of me I just get it done. If someone makes a mistake that impacts me I am not afraid to kindly tell them. If you really want to see me assertive then mess with my kids (don't even get me started about the time the allergist tried to kill my son). It is not easy to step out of line or express yourself but when it is productive I try to follow through.

Being assertive (a.k.a. growing a pair) does not entitle you to be a jerk. With great power comes great responsibility. This can mean having the courage to ask if a person struggling to jump start a car needs help or letting a mistake go when a waitress is clearly having a bad day. As my mom used to say “I am just doing the best I can!”. This goes for everyone. There is no need to be assertive and tell the guy that cut you off he is number one. It could be his kid is in the hospital or he just got fired. To throw out another cliche pick and choose your battles. A $20 bag of groceries that you paid for… okay. Telling your boss what you really think… better left to the realm of daydreams.


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