I am sure if the the Wicked Witch had someone to share a snack pack or two with, she wouldn't have been so wicked

“Mean People…”

    “Mean People. ”   This used to be my oldest son, ‘Mr. T’s,’ favorite phrase.  My mom actually taught it to him when he was about 18 months (thanks mom!).  We all thought it really cute when he spouted off  the phrase the first few times at the most inappropriate times……and I really thought it was absolutely hilarious when he the phrase wasn’t directed at me. The phrase stuck with him for a long while. In fact, I am pretty sure that was the single phrase that really sealed his fate on the ‘bad kid’ list with his second grade teacher in Germany. Didn’t really matter though, that lady was related to the Wicked Witch of the West, perhaps she was the Wicked Witch of the Northwest, and my kid with his ‘Flavor Flave’ attitude, was surely on her list of targets anyway. I often imagined her going through the students’ lunch boxes and backpacks during morning recess stealing all their desserts and afternoon snacks delighting in the hopes of making her students’ lunch time and school experiences really suck. I mean, what’s lunch time without a chocolate or vanilla snack pack? Billy Madison even needed one when he went back to school…those things rule!  In retrospect, we probably should have bribed the Wicked Witch with a school year’s supply of her favorite flavors of snack packs, because ‘Mr. T’s’   second grade year was a torturous learning experience for ALL of us.  Hmm…I wonder what happened to that woman?  Perhaps she retired, accepted a transfer, or maybe one day a Capri Sun juice bag was rigged to burst while she was nosily poking about in a child’s backpack and she just suddenly melted away?   The World Will Never Know….

Fact is, like I’ve taught my boys and like I’ve tried to teach each of my students, there ARE mean people out there in our world: people who constantly look for the ‘bad’ in every situation and in every person, people who don’t feel ‘good enough’ with who they are so they need to make others feel just as rotten as they do by spreading their negativity with mean actions, words, or behaviors, and there are some just plain miserable people.  I believe it is one our main goals in life not to become another one ofthose kinds of people.  SO… Your assignment if you choose to accept it, is to NEVER become one of those people….EVER. I know  what you’re going to ask—“Oh, Wise Ophelia, tell us your answer to how we all can forever remain in the “Positive People Posse?” It’s simple. Share a smile…those suckers are pretty contagious. If you live somewhere where you won’t get beat up for assisting someone with their hands full with their grocery cart, help them to their car…just don’t be all weird about it and make the person think you’re a serial killer or anything. Random acts of kindness…sounds cliché, but you really can make someone’s day by leaving an encouraging note on someone’s desk, pick up the baby shoe in the grocery store and look for a one-shoed baby; chances are the shoe matches, and instead of acting like you’re going to punch someone in the face when you two bump into each other on the sidewalk/store/wherever; say something kind and laugh it off—I mean is your shoulder dislocated? Volunteer. Be creative…and if all else fails……share a snack pack…after all, who can resist a snack pack??