There were times in my youth when boys and sometimes grown men, who were older, taller and bigger and stronger than me, would wag their tongues in such a way that I’d get offended.
Because I was just a young buck, and didn’t know better, I’d wait til the character was walking away and then come out of hiding and say something that I immediately regretted. I’d say it because I was angry, not because I thought it through.
Well more than half the time, the hooligans who said such to anger me would hear what I said, turn around and address me. They’d say something intimidating like, “What you say?”
Not planning for their retaliation, I’d be taken aback and would clam up or cower. But on some occasions I’d still be bristling. The fighting, however, was always the same, always a loss.
Part of growing up is to develop that emotional shell. So that when someone says something offensive, but otherwise harmless, it bounces right off.
The other part of growing up is to deal with the wounds from the words and actions that found their way past that tough exterior.
Forgiveness goes a long way. It’s the modern way to “turn the other cheek” when someone slaps you.
–from a 1998 interview with famed actor Gilford “Whiskers” Allsworth-Dinnersmith, who most recently has made an autobiographical work.
In it Mr. Allsworth-Dinnersmith talks about his childhood, his early career as a stuntman, and how he got discovered to become the famous playwright he is today.