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- Growing Up Bronx
One day as I walked to the office, I encountered a man arguing with his lady by their car. I’m not sure what they were arguing about, but the dude was huffing and puffing. At one point, he came by one of the construction blocks set up, he kicked it, and it dropped loudly near me. It didn’t hit me, but I couldn’t help but feel somewhat disrespected that his little tantrum led him to kick something so closely to me without any concern for consequence.
This is where the ego comes into play. In my mind, I thought that he didn’t give a damn if it hit me, or if it startled or bothered me in any way. To him, I’m just some pussy who’s walking by and won’t do shit about it anyway. So as I walked and this happened, I paused for a second, and all the pride and ego thoughts crossed my mind. Then I continued to walk.
You see, this guy is obviously a loser, and he probably doesn’t have anything to lose. His life is worthless, so he goes about it in this careless fashion. On the other hand, I have plenty to lose, there is so much that I’ve worked for! I don’t want to throw it away by reacting to this trash. So I swallowed my pride and the desire to check him for what I perceived as a form of disrespect in the street. As there wasn’t an ongoing threat to my safety and the object didn’t actually hit me, I decided it best to keep it moving. There was nothing to gain by engaging this loser.
It’s not easy to walk away from people who test you, especially when you come from a background like mine. The streets where I come from were like a prison yard. If you were tested and you didn’t rise up to the challenges, you were condemned to a life of victimhood. Win, lose or draw, you had to stand up for yourself. When I was younger I failed this test many times and I paid the price. Nowadays, I have to remind myself that I am not in that environment anymore and that it’s okay to walk away.
Growing Up Bronx