You see, as I child I observed my parents having long arguments about money and family problems. Most of them involving money. But I never saw that kind of... -- what's the word? -- pettiness from them. They were grown ups and the things they did mattered. Not like the kids at school, who would pick on others' weaknesses in an instinctual attempt to break their spirit, drive them mad. It seemed like the most evil thing they could do. Give a child the silent treatment. Make little conspiracies so they'd always be at disadvantage in games. "No, I do not have an eraser you could borrow", they'd say, or something to that effect, when a classmate was in great need of one (and aren't all our needs great when we are kids?), even though they had right on their desk a pencil case with maybe three or four different colored, different scented erasers... These are the kind of things children do.
Or so I thought.
At work, I found myself in a schoolyard again. Sometimes people were nice to each other, played together when it was for their interest, picking on others in a friendly -- or sometimes not-so-friendly -- way, but always ultimately pursuing their own interests without the slightest care in the world of who they were trampling. I could hardly believe these were adults. You see, maybe it's my parents' fault. They never let me know grown ups were just as childish as the bullies I had to endure at school. Maybe my parents weren't perfect, but they always struck me as reasonable, intelligent, compassionate people, who would fight for their rights, and mine too, but without trespassing on other people's rights. Because that would be a bad thing. And adults know better than to do bad things.
It's just one more disappointment to my list. I spent my childhood looking forward to a time where I'd be surrounded by smart, polite people, who would be in control of the world and their own lives. The thinkers, the writers, the philosophers, the artists, I'd walk among them. The grown ups. Then I get here and it's all the same stupid people I went to school with. I've been fooled! I want my money back!