I remember being bullied in school. The "bully" was a classmate - tough and easily a head taller than I was. We both ran for a position in class. I got the votes. She didn't. We both joined an after-school ballet class. I got moved up a level. She didn't. I'm guessing this really irked her because one day she picked me up, threw me across the ballet studio and called me names. I didn't say a word to her or to anyone. I didn't fight back. I vowed never to return to school. My parents didn't think retiring from school at age 7 was the smartest idea and forced me to go back. I did but plotted my revenge. I never laid a hand on her but I walked up to her and dropped a bombshell. I told her something I learned about her and her family that devastated her. I'm not particularly proud of what I did. I still read about her occasionally in the papers. She's obviously still struggling with what she learned that day. Bullies are never nice. But I wasn't exactly nice either.
Segue to my favorite funny man, Conan O' Brien, who I got to see when some girlfriends and I were part of his late night show's live audience in 1994. He had us laughing the whole time. He's been cracking me up ever since.
Now what exactly does this Tonight Show host have to do with an incident I had in first grade? Let's just say Conan showed me this week how to handle a bully. When a big, fat network and its executives tried to muscle their way around a contract and boot him out of a show they had promised him for years, he took the high road. He didn't go without a fight and some humor of course. This is Conan remember? (You Tube's got a whole bunch of snippets you can check out) And the laughs he gave us in true Coco-form while watching the big guys squirm was priceless. Still at the end he had this to say:
All I ask is one thing. I'm asking this particularly of young people that watch. Please do not be cynical.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you. Amazing things will happen.
Lesson done. Now let's just get silly with Conan.