I have not found that book learning and on-the-job-training gave me the tools I needed to understand and help people. Instead I have had to use experience, curiosity, and following my own spirit or moral compass. Now, I think this is largely because I didn’t understand the realities of black market America with compassion. Without understanding the rules, the pros the cons and the oppression that results from the crime industry it can be hard to provide the necessary empathy and validation to establish connection and be supportive. Because I didn’t get that training in school, I have had to undergo a journey to learn to be helpful.
I feel sorry for my English professor who wanted to put my essay up for an award! The glare I gave him and the lack of response: it was, at its best, very rude.
The fact is, I only learned it bothered him because my best friend who was fifteen years older than me got an invite to the professor’s house for dinner. My friend who had a lifetime of experience using and dealing drugs reported that the professor had called his cute, sleeping hound a beast repeatedly throughout the night and talked about how alcohol was his drug of choice while toasting his guest’s sobriety. However, my friend reported, when it came to me, the professor admitted that he just didn’t know what to say.
“I think I know what that kid’s problem is,” the professor had conceded.