Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No Sharks Allowed

As a kid my 6th grade teacher told my mom the world was going to eat me alive. I was to gentle. Too sweet. Too nice. Too fragile. A dreamer. Not a fighter. She thought I was just a guppie.

Growing up I didn't like fighting. I yearned for peace, tranquility and happiness. That does not a guppie make. But I'm no shark. Never was.

One time I went to the Mohegan Sun and saw the shark tank. You can look at the tank, see the sharks face to face. See how empty their eyes are. It sent shivers down my spine.

In the movie Wall Street there's a scene of a charity auction. All I saw were a bunch of big bad sharks. The b.s. shmoozing, the big flashy earrings, and the false smiles. Can you hear the Jaws music? It reminded me of sitting in a courtroom full of lawyers.  The hustle: Banging out Orders. Give me this, I'll give you that. C'mon! Good to see you. Talk to you soon. Here's my card.

Uuugggghhh. I need a shower.

I can deal with those crappy aspects of this wonderful world. But I really do not choose to be in that type of atmosphere. When I'm among those undesireables, I have no problem snapping back, and warding them off my territory. Those undesireables - those sharks - are in every field, every facet of humanity, and at every turn.

What my 6th grade teacher failed to realize is that everyone is a predator. Everyone is prey. I'm gentle? I'm fragile? Yet the world has not eaten me alive.

But, maybe I'm a dolphin. And I chase sharks away.

I'm not perfect. I'm just me.  I'm tough. I'm nice with the deserving. I am only vulnerable with those I trust. I'm not a fighter, but don't cross me. I'm a dreamer with both feet on the ground.

Despite all this murkiness in the shark-infested water I've survived.  I've fought. I've triumphed.  Despite what a shark once said. I'm thankful for it.