Not to brag, but I used to be pretty decent at basketball back in high school. I was a relatively good shooter and not afraid to let it fly so to speak. My flashy style caught on to some people and I appreciated that they respected my game.
One guy actually called me C-Money. Because I was money from long range. I was able to let shots fly and hit them at a wonderful pace. And I wasn’t afraid to shoot. I was pretty proud of myself. And that guy obviously respected the hell out of me. I was impressed by the nickname and relatively sure of myself back in high school.
Fast forward a few years later. I had just graduated from college and my confidence was in pieces because I had struggled mightily at Cornell. And I simply wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do in life upon graduation and didn’t know how to approach this supposedly whole new world.
I got my first job at Steve & Barry’s out in Long Island as a financial analyst. But I wasn’t too good at what I was doing. And I had trouble socializing with colleagues, oftentimes feeling unconfident and out of place.
That same guy from high school happened to also work in the same company as I did. And I didn’t think much of it back then. But I remembered one random day in the afternoon when I bumped into him. He seemed a bit saddened and said directly to me: “What happened to you, man? You’re not money anymore. I’m disappointed in what I see.”
And that was that. From respecting me in high school, to being disappointed in what he sees. I didn’t think much of it back at that time. But as you can see, that remark still resonates with me in my head up to this day.
I think it shows that people can change, and judgment is a part of life. Some people will judge you positively. Others negatively. And sometimes, their viewpoints can change depending on the situation in life that they are at right now. It’s neither right nor wrong. And that guy is not a bad person either. In my eyes, he was simply saying what he felt. And he has every right to do that.
Life is fickle. Opinions are fickle. And people can change for better or worse, simply depending on perception.
I do remember, though, that a few months later, that guy did come up to me and seemed to regret what he had previously say. He eventually said, “I don’t want to be too harsh on you”, which I do appreciate. Again, it just shows that people are human. Sometimes they might make a remark at the drop of a hat without thinking thru about how it may mentally affect the other party.
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. And it’s important to just not take things too seriously. Because opinions are just that. They’re opinions. They are simply what one person views a certain situation at that certain point in time. They can change like the wind. From year to year. Day to day. Even hour to hour. There’s nothing illegal about changing your views.
So, for me, I tried not to take what he said too personally. Again, I kind of just dusted it off my shoulders at that time. And it hasn’t significantly affected me in the way I live my life. I certainly haven’t lost any sleep from that comment.
And I will respect him for being honest and blunt about his feelings, even though they weren’t necessarily what I wanted to hear at that time. But that’s life. Not everything you hear and see will be pleasant and enjoyable all the time. That’s just not how the way society works.
So, when someone says something that distresses you or causes a bit of a commotion, try not to take it too personally. Try to see the other person from a human light. He is a son. He has his own family too. He has his own struggles. He’s not an invincible Superman. Nobody is. And opinions are simply views expressed by a flawed human being.
We hold the power to accept the view or to disregard them. We don’t have to live by everything that we see or hear. That is something that we can control. And even though it’s not much, it’s still something.
I still appreciate that nickname, C-Money. It has a little bit of pizzazz and flash to it. These days, I feel relatively sufficient with where I’m at in life. I don’t really need a fancy nickname or someone’s approval to validate my existence. I don’t think any of us need that. We should be okay with just living our best lives and being ourselves – for what it’s worth. And if someone approves of us, that is great. If not, then we simply move on to the next. Either way, it is a learning experience, and we will come out of it a little bit wiser.