There was this guy who worked in the lab across the hall. One day I happened to be over there running some lengthy assays on their equipment and we started talking. This happens a lot in a lab. Experiments often take great gobs of time where you are either standing around watching or doing some brainless work that takes forever. So you talk a lot and you get to know your colleagues really well. One of my favorite things about the job.
Anyway, this is what the guy told me: His elementary school gave out awards at the end of the year, you know the type: most improved, perfect attendance, most trips to the nurse, whatever. He decided, at the end of second grade, to go for perfect attendance the next year.
The boy had a goal and he never wavered. No matter how sick he was, no matter what vacation his family wanted to take, no matter how nice the day, he was bound and determined to have Perfect Attendance. His eye was on the prize and he made it! Perfect Attendance! That fateful Last Day of School he sat on the edge of his seat as they handed out the prizes... he waited... he waited... They forgot the Perfect Attendance prize. They just forgot. No one had noticed his Perfect Attendance.
Unbelievable! Outrageous! It's a rotten, stupid, unfair thing to have happen... when you are 8. This guy was an MD and a PhD at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. He was happily married to a lovely woman and they had two beautiful children. He was young and healthy. He had everything going right in his life and he was still genuinely mad about not getting that Perfect Attendance certificate when he was 8!
That's when it hit me: those rotten, stupid, unfair things that I was mad about from my childhood, I was never going to stop being mad about them until I made the decision to forgive the people and LET IT GO.