The Green Electric Box
“Yes, Shelley, you are president again.” It was going to be Kelly, Annabel, or Shelley, but not me. No, I was not to be president, as I did not want to speak up. What if they did not like me? I knew I was special in that I did not want to be like everyone else, but I also knew I wanted to be liked, even at this age of 7. I always felt like I was in observation mode, stepping outside myself to examine others around me. I never really felt a part of any “group.” Being the square peg, I never seemed to fit into the round hole which everyone seemed to be a part. I could not put my finger on it, but I knew I was different in some way. I was more sensitive and affected by everything around me. The introspection I would face daily, would drive me crazy. However, little did I know that God was preparing me to be a leader and a teacher. One thing I did discover, nevertheless, is that every child has these deep insecurities, but they are covered up by bullying, snickering, gossiping, or extreme shyness.
This club that we had formed took place on a small green electric box in the town homes for which we lived. It was just the right size to fit 4 tiny bodies, sitting Indian style. Shelley would call the meeting to order and we would discuss the latest issue of “Tiger Beat.” Sean Cassidy was the heartthrob, but I had my eye on Andy Gibb. This was a never-ending controversy, but I did not want to have the same crush as everyone else. We would decide what fan club we were going to support. We finally agreed that Leif Erickson was a superior choice. Again, I did not concur, but I felt it would be fun to be a part of the “club.” This became our daily routine until we got bored with that and decided to play “Charlie’s Angels.”
Now, the most sought after “Angel” was Kelly (played by Farrah Fawcett). Unfortunately, the loser had to be stuck being “Sabrina” played by Kate Jackson. Again, it was rare that I got to be Kelly, but the fantastic thing was that I was small, so I did not usually get stuck with Kate’s role. I just remember how cool we thought we were. This game would usually, in turn, create animosity between Shelley and Annabel. They were always fighting. I typically would try to assist in them making amends and I knew I did not want to anger friends. I always wanted to keep things peaceful. I found early on that it is impossible to please everyone and keep the peace. Conflict management was applied in my life which soon came natural since my home life was filled with chaos and conflict.
To this day, I still strive to keep the peace. I don’t have the same desires to be in the “club.” Of course, I want to be liked and be “popular.” However, the standards I follow now are God’s standards which are not always what the masses believe. I have found that having good character is a pathway to happiness and peace of mind. As Ray Magdalene says, “Like ripples in a pond, your character radiates outward and touches the hearts of people within your sphere of influence.” What I do to live a godly life and how much I love others will determine not only my happiness, but will permeate the lives around me and create a better world. I pray I can live with this type of grace for others and for myself. The green electric box still stands today and is a constant reminder of my newfound strength, hope, and encouragement to self-inflicted “square pegs” around the world.