I’ll start off today’s blog with a reading from my book EMOTIONS: Not your Mama’s ABC’s!
Today, I include the preface and two short stories. The first story is Winter Trip and reflects the emotion querulous, and the second story, well I have absolutely no earthly idea how it made it into my book. I think it was from a dream I had.
Here is the story out of left field:
So, living on Upper Heyford Air Force base in 1967 (formerly RAF Upper Heyford), was an adventure in itself. The very tallest structure in the rolling hills was the base water tank tower. This tower had a reputation for killing those that attempted to climb it. I don’t know how true that was, but it definitely kept people from trying to scale her. I don’t know exactly how tall the tower was, but it was tall enough to scare the shit out of you if you were stupid enough to try climbing it.
So up we go, me and my older buddies Al and Jerry.
We were all boisterous and laughing as we dropped down the metal ladder and began our ascent. The laughter and convo keep on until about a hundred feet or so up.
After that, we sort of kept our thoughts to ourselves.
Fear of falling off the tower to a certain early death will do that to you.
When we finally got to the top, there was a small maintenance walkway where we sat down. Al and Jerry lit up cigarettes to mark the occasion.
If you could see our hands in the dark, you would notice the white knuckles with which we were clinging to the tower.
But we looked cool.
That was the only time we ever climbed the water tower and it was the only successful climb during my three years there. Evidently no one but us was stupid enough to try it.
The things we do for peer pressure. I would not, in a million years, climb that tower on my own. Although it is totally cool to look at the world from great heights, I am fine with my from-the-ground perspective. This statement despite the fact I have ascended the Tokyo Tower, the Eiffel Tower, the World Trade Center, the Sears Tower, and numerous mountaintop vantages.
Peer pressure can make you do stupid things, things you would not attempt on your own. It can be dangerous, especially when peer pressure turns ugly. It is but a short step to go from peer pressure to violence and then on to mob violence and now you are talking about something more than frightening.
We are talking about loss of control.
Loss of control is not cool.
It is a weakness.
It is ignorant.
So don’t succumb to peer pressure.
I have an expression that I use when I am trying to “pump” someone up.
Dominate your lifespace.
If you can do that, you will be impervious to outside (read peer) pressure and you, and only you, will be in control of your environment.