The Good Place has been a runaway hit since it premiered in 2016, but those who don't have the luxury of catching up with the show's third season via NBC will have to wait until it officially drops on Netflix for binging sessions sometime this fall.
For those of you who've grown to love Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, and Michael's trip through the wonderful world of ethics, here are some cool facts from behind the scenes of the show we think is really forking awesome.
Note: spoilers ahead.
Jameela Jamil's come a long way from T4
Jameela Jamil, who plays Tahani Al-Jamil, did not get her start as an actress. She began her career as an English teacher before moving into television, where she was a presenter on T4 from 2009 until 2012.
Jamil has also presented other shows, including The Official Chart and The Official Chart update. Jamil made radio history when she became the first sole female presenter of the BBC Radio 1 Chart show.
She landed her role on The Good Place after moving to Los Angeles to present radio shows. Her agent told her that show creator Michael Schur was looking for a British actress for a new comedy series. Jamil auditioned and won the role with no prior acting experience.
And so has Manny Jacinto.Giphy
Manny Jacinto––who plays the lovable idiot Jason Mendoza––wanted to pursue a career as a professional dancer and participated in hip-hop dance competitions before he got into acting.
Kristen Bell is an accomplished stage actress.
Kristen Bell (Eleanor) is an accomplished stage actress. She made her Broadway debut as Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 2001. She also appeared in The Crucible the following year, playing the role of Susannah Walcott.
"Can I just say something crazy?"
In the event you've been living under a rock, Bell is also the voice of Princess Anna in Disney's Frozen.
William Jackson Harper Considered leaving Hollywood before TGP.Giphy
William Jackson Harper, who plays ethicist Chidi Anagonye, considered quitting acting before landing his role on The Good Place.
I was burned out. I was doing a lot of theater and I love theater but I was also just so broke all the time that I was just frustrated, and decided that this season was going to be my last pilot season," Jackson explained. "I was going to start trying to transition out from acting. I hit a point where I was like, 'Okay, maybe it's time for me to be realistic and get a regular job and try to have some stability in my life.' Then this job happened and not only was it a job that gave me a little bit more faith, but also, I couldn't imagine a more perfect job and a more perfect show for me to be on this one," he said. "Sitting here with you talking is like a miracle to me, because I've been at this for a while, not nearly as long as some, but longer than others."
Kristen Bell and Ted Danson (Michael) were cast in early 2016. Bell has said she was aware of the first season's twist ending when she signed onto the show.
D'Arcy Carden (who plays Janet, the Good Place's artificial intelligence) was cast in a series regular role that was announced as "Janet Della-Denunzio, a violin salesperson with a checkered past." This was later revealed to be an intentional hoax.
The original plan for the series was considerably different.
According to series creator Michael Schur, the original plan for the series was to include religious elements into the series after doing research on various faiths and groups. This was scrapped in favor of the show's more universal philosophical approach.
"It is very important to make clear in the first 30 seconds of the pilot, this is not one religion's concept of the afterlife," Schur told The Hollywood Reporter in September 2016. "I did a lot of research."
"I stopped doing research because I realized it's about versions of ethical behavior, not religious salvation," he said. "The show isn't taking a side, the people who are there are from every country and religion."
The series' setting and premise was inspired by Lost, which was developed by Damon Lindelof.
"I took him to lunch and said, 'We're going to play a game [of] 'Is this anything?'" He then added "I imagine this going in the Lost way, with cliffhangers and future storylines," Schur told Variety in 2016.
Read it and weep.
The twist ending of Season 1––that the four leads are actually in The Bad Place––was inspired by the Jean-Paul Sartre play No Exit. The most famous line from that play: "Hell is other people."
It's a small world.
D'Arcy Carden, who plays Janet, once worked as a nanny for Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader. The two of them have since become friends and colleagues; she has a recurring role as Natalie Greer on HBO's Barry, in which Hader stars.
Way to go!
Carden first made her name as a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade. She enjoyed a sketch comedy show she saw so much that she signed on for classes and eventually progressed with the group, even touring with the UCB Touring Company.
All in a day's work.
Ted Danson practiced his flossing dance for weeks.
"We decided the saddest thing a desperate demon in a 70-year-old's skin-suit could do in that scenario was to start flossing. So that's what we went with," said co-executive producer Joe Mande. "Although it was weirdly important to me that Michael refer to it as 'the Backpack Kid dance.'"
"Ted read the line and it got a laugh, but he was clearly confused. So he stopped the read and politely asked, for his own edification, if he could see an example of this Backpack Kid dance," Mande recalled of the table read. "A bunch of the actors got up and started flossing for him at the table. Ted then went back, reread the line, and quickly attempted to floss himself. It was wonderful."
The show's "blend of comedy, morality, philosophy and jokes about robot sex" has continued to resonate strongly with critics, including writer Laura Turner, who in a piece for The Washington Post, said that the show is a vital commentary on our current political climate:
"Am I my brother's keeper?" is a question we all have to answer for ourselves, and our current political climate makes that question feel especially urgent. How are we responsible for each other, the show wants to ask.
"The Good Place" is not an inherently partisan or political show, but that question has incredible political consequences. If we are, indeed, our brothers' keepers, then we cannot in good conscience allow our brothers to be torn from their families at our nation's borders. If we are our brothers' keepers, we cannot stand idly by while they are banned from serving in the military, or lose the ability to put food on their table during a government shutdown, or are the victims of racism and violence. If we answer the question "Am I my brother's keeper?" in the affirmative — as "The Good Place" does — then we are responsible to our brothers. And the afterlife, and our admission to it, depends on how we answer this question.
Jesus said that whatever we do for "the least of my brothers," it is as if we have done it for him.
Believe it or not.
Show creator Mike Schur apparently told Kristen Bell how The Good Place will eventually end... but she forgot what he said.
"I was told, and… the funny thing is, uh, I got a lot going on, and I don't remember things very well, and I forgot. I legit forgot," she said.
When pressed, she responded: "I got two kids, guys! That's, like, a lot of work! There's so much work! They don't even tell you how much work they are! He told me. Last year, he's like, 'That's how I'm going to wrap it up. Yeah, that's the right idea.' And it has exited my brain."
Up close and personal.
William Jackson Harper has said that he, much like his character Chidi, is a neurotic person.
Speaking to Vulture this week, he said:
"Yes. Absolutely. One hundred percent. Neurotic, anxious. The major difference between me and Chidi is that he talks about it a lot. When I'm feeling neurotic and anxious, I just completely disappear. I don't want anyone to be dealing with that or see it. I remember I was on a date some years ago. We met at a party and we had a great time, and then we went on the date and I was really nervous. Eventually, after a couple of drinks, I started to relax. Then she said to me, "Oh, there you are. I was wondering when that guy was going to show up." Of course, that weirded me out again immediately. I was right back to where I was. It was like, Fuck, I thought I was covering. Hearing that I was like, Oh, so people do notice when I'm freaking out and I'm a little bit nervous and I'm not easy and I'm not free. I don't want to make people deal with that, so I tend to disappear."
Up close and personal, part 2.
Harper is rather buff––now––but he also opened up about his struggles with body issues:
The goal was honestly just to avoid ridicule. I was so afraid that I was going to be made fun of. And it's just going to be me getting dumped on on the internet for the way I looked. I was terrified. I got made fun of for how I looked when I was younger. Like, honestly, right up through college, enemies and friends would make fun of the way I looked with my shirt off. I mean, I was a little overweight, and then I've also had other body issues that I feel really self-conscious about.
So when this episode came up, I was just like, No. Oh, God … Oh, grocery shopping. Oh, sprinkler. Oh, f**k. I was like, there's no way I can hide. I also didn't want to have the conversation of, "I'd feel really self-conscious taking my shirt off." I don't go to the beach. I don't go swimming. I don't do sh*t like that because I'm that nervous about it. I only do it when I absolutely have to.
I don't know where that started. I mean, obviously during puberty your body freaks out. And maybe I never really sort of grew up in that respect. Maybe that part of my brain just stayed 14 and awkward and feeling weird and a little bit scared all the time like that. I think that maybe something didn't progress the way that it was supposed to. I can't really pinpoint anything that was the moment that I remember, that it was like, Oh, okay. I don't see myself the way the world sees me at all.
But the real positive thing from all of that, beyond actually getting complimented on how I looked physically, was just the fact that it was like, Wow, I'd worked toward something that felt like I couldn't get there. And I actually got there. That sense of control was nice. Like, I worked out and I dieted. It yielded an unexpected result, but still a positive one. That was a nice feeling, because at least physically, I never really had that sort of feeling where I'm in control of this.
You go, girl!
Jameela Jamil has used her platform to rally for feminist causes. She recently received a Voices of the Year award at a BlogHer Health conference where she discussed what it means to be a "feminist in progress":
"I think we are all feminists-in-progress," she said. "I believe that we don't all have all of the answers, and I think that there's a great power in admitting to that, because then you create space for yourself to grow, and to learn, and to change. I'm someone who didn't understand feminism;
I didn't even know the term intersectional feminism, I think because I just thought, 'Well, I love all people, so therefore I am an intersectional feminist.' But my feminism wasn't specifically targeting and helping and elevating cultures that weren't mine. I was focusing on the plight of brown women, and therefore ignoring the plight of black women or women with disabilities or women who are deaf, or blind, or trans."
"I think feminist-in-progress is a term I use that rallies against cancel culture, which I don't think is helpful because then you never give someone a chance to evolve—and fair enough, I understand that not everyone deserves a chance necessarily—but I think if someone genuinely wants to learn and grow, you shouldn't always hold their old mistakes against them," she continued. "I think we could try, at least, to rehabilitate people and give them a chance to go away and learn and read and watch things that will illuminate them."
You have to start somewhere...
Show creator Michael Schur said that he came up with the idea for the show after Parks and Recreation ended while making some observations about "annoying" behavior.
He said he devised the show's point system while observing people in Los Angeles do things like cut each other off in traffic.
"Like if anyone was keeping score—'What you did right there, sir, cutting me off in traffic, you just lost eight points,'" Schur said. "And I started thinking about a world where actions have actual point values that can be measured and analyzed and broken down, and that led me to the afterlife. And I thought what if it's a game and the people with high scores get into the good place and people with the lowest scores get into the bad place."
Schur told Vulture that he named Michael after an archangel, noting that originally, he did not know what to name Ted Danson's character. But then he visited Paris's Notre-Dame Cathedral, where he learned about the archangel Michael, "the angel who weighs people's souls and decides whether their souls are good or bad."
"I was like, 'What's the name of that archangel?' And the tour guide said, 'That's archangel Michael.' And I was like, 'Well, that's the answer.'" he recalled. "The answer is that he's named Michael because in the world of the afterlife that makes perfect sense."
The more you know.Giphy
Kristen Bell says the show's concept has given her an education on ethics––and that she now uses it to debate with people.
"The subject matter is ethics, all the things we need to fix," she once told the Los Angeles Times. "Earth's current bad mood—it's all in this show." She explained she takes lessons taught in The Good Place and adapts them in her conversations. "Everyone is debating something nowadays, and now, I can actually say at a dinner party: 'Well, I disagree with that because, you know in moral particularism, cited by [British philosopher] Jonathan Dancy'—like, I actually have a sound argument as to why I believe certain things."
D'Arcy Carden has some pretty eclectic taste in music.
And she revealed where she got her stage name from:
I put an apostrophe in my name that wasn't there before, like Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'Arcy Wretzky, because of how influential this band was to me. D'Arcy was just the epitome of cool to me. In 1993, I was really into alternative and grunge music, and whereas the Nirvanas and the Pearl Jams felt so masculine, there was something sweeter and lighter about Smashing Pumpkins. The fact that they had a girl in their band was huge for me and my friends. I learned the guitar part to "Today," and it made me feel like such a badass. It was like, "Wow, I can play guitar!" But, of course, anybody can play the beginning of "Today."
Jameela Jamil is taking a stand against celebrity ads for "detox" fads.Giphy
In addition to her "I Weigh" movement, Jamil has recently started a petition asking celebrities to stop "promoting toxic diet products on social media." It reads, in part:
In the last few years we have seen a scary rise in the marriage of celebrity and diet/detox endorsement. There's little to no information about the side effects or main ingredients, the harm they may cause or any of the science behind how these products are supposed to work. They are instead, flogged in glossy paid adverts by celebrities and influencers with no expertise or authority in nutrition/medicine/biology.
While you wait for Season 4...
...just know that Kristen Bell and her husband Dax Shepard have announced their new baby product line, HelloBello. The organic products are sold at a third of the price of other premium products in the baby market.
For those of you who don't know...
You can only watch the first two seasons on Netflix. The third season will likely drop on the streaming service by the end of the year.
The final five episodes of the show are available on Hulu, and all of them are available on NBC.com. You'll need a cable login to watch the first seven episodes of the season, however. The final five, as with Hulu, are free to view.
And don't worry...Giphy
Season 4 is on its way.
According to Decider:
NBC hasn't officially announced a premiere date for Season 4 of The Good Place, but based on recent history, it's not difficult to predict a release date.
Season 1 premiered on September 19, 2016
Season 2 premiered on September 20, 2017
Season 3 premiered on September 27, 2018
With those dates in mind, we imagine Season 4 of The Good Place will debut on NBC in late September of 2019 (Thursday, September 26th perhaps?).
Most couples are inseparable and enjoy doing everything together, thanks in part to shared mutual interests.
But on occasion, some people in relationships go off in pursuit of one-sided pleasures in secret for various reasons.
These can range from going out to a vegan restaurant when the other person is a carnivore to seeing a Netflix show that is too violent for a squeamish significant other.
Because not every significant other may not share the same passion, Redditors TheTinRam asked:
"What’s a guilty pleasure you hide from your significant other?"
These Redditors needed some "me time."
"Everytime I go on a late night grocery run (once or twice a month) because I work nights, and my wife forgot to grab whatever, I add a $0.70 Mexican soda to the cart. It is just for me. It is something my dad used to get me on especially long days when I was a kid 'helping' him on jobsites. It is my tiny reminder of him."
Story For No One
"I write stories for years now, some of the times she thinks I'm working on the computer but I'm actually writing a story. There is nothing to hide but I just keep it to myself, none of my family members know I write stories. Till today I have written 56 stories (most of them are short)."
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
"Staying up late for peace and quiet."
Chatting For One
"I talk to myself all the time, I was actually wondering last night if it was a really weird thing to do lol"
Naked And Sacred
"I will cruise the house butt naked and just do whatever the hell I want. About once a month. I won’t be able to this summer because the kids will be back in school, but come August, I’ll be naked and free again!"
Some people need to get out of the house.
"Sometimes I take the long way home and talk to myself in the car about my 'problems' - like Self Therapy. I put one earbud in so ppl think I could be on the phone."
"I get quite animated. It helps to get a stressful day out of my system before I get home and switch gears."
"My husband has gluten sensitivity. If he eats regular pizza, his stomach hurts for a couple of days after."
"Well, I don't, so sometimes I say I'm going for a run, and I do run.... to the pizza store, eat a slice, and run back."
Catching Up With The Boys
"Covid has messed it up for a bit now. But every 3 or so months the boys and I all get up like we are going to work at our respective jobs but instead all call in sick and meet for breakfast, then go back to our one buddies place for the day to hangout. Around 4 or 5 one by one we all head home for our normal arrival time."
"It's literally the only way for us all to get together reliably. Most of us have known each other for the better part of 30 years now, going way back to junior kindergarten for some."
"Twice I have let her know my plan for the day and twice I have gotten phone calls to come home early for what ever not some emergency. So now we do it secretly."
Some of the things people do behind their SO's backs is for endearing reasons.
"I don’t know if this is a guilty pleasure necessarily but I pretend to be asleep when he comes home from work because he always kisses me on the forehead."
"I love when she snores."
"She complains (only lightly) about my snoring all the time, and I always feel awful that I make it tricky for her to get a good night's sleep. When she's snoring, I know she's actually going to rest well, and it makes me happy."
Scent Of A Man
"Smelling his clothes. Not creepily, like his boxers. But when he lets me borrow a shirt or a sweater I’ll put it on and just revel in the smell of him on his clothes. If I recall correctly, it definitely wasn’t like this when we first started dating. It’s been over two years now and I only remember doing this around the 7 month mark. He smells really, really good."
The Forever Admirer
"I have a whole album of 'unflattering' pictures of her. Not really something I hide, but they make me happy. She’s so silly yet so beautiful."
They say that a couple that plays together, stays together.
That's all well and good. However, a significant other having some alone time should never be stigmatized.
My husband and I usually watch every TV show together, but I watch Netflix's Ozark by myself because I enjoy intense dramas, immensely.
It's not a secret. And he's glad I watch the shows that I want to watch on my own time–just like I encourage him to watch all those UFO documentaries that he's obsessed with, by himself.
No really, watch them without me.
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"Do you know who I am?"
A question which often comes from an exasperated individual, who believes they are entitled to VIP treatment everywhere they go.
Occasionally, these people are indeed household names whom most everyone would likely recognize.
More often than not, however, people might need some reminding as to how or why said individual should be recognized.
Each and every time, though, the arrogant question is never justified, and is often greeted with an appropriate response.
Redditor brotherbrother99 was eager to know the best clap backs to this notorious question, leading them to ask:
"What is the best response to "'Do you know who I am?'"
That's starting to get old.
"I bet you use that line a lot."- michaelochurch.
Right back atcha!
"WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?"
"I AM!"- itskavia.
Need a reminder?
"Did you forget?"- Virtue-Killer-2.Who Am I GIFGiphy
You tell me.
"No, who do you think you are?"- Random_puns.
I'll have to ask someone else.
“'Hey Brian, I’ve got a guy here who doesn’t know who he is!'"
"'Do you know who he might be?'”- llovejoy1234.customer service call center GIFGiphy
I'll take a guess
"Ronnie Pickering."- Shadow_0852.
I'm getting a sense...
"I know who you think you are."- automoth.
I'll help you figure it out.
"My husband was working in construction."
"A guy came onto the job site giving the workers a hard time about something or other."
"When he started yelling at my husband for whatever, my husband basically ignored him."
"The guy goes, 'do you know who I am?'”
"My husband yelled across the site to his foreman, 'Joe! Call an ambulance, this guy doesn’t know who he is!'”- Littlepaintbrush0814.
"Yes, and I've been trying to reach you about your car's extended warranty."- ShadyMyLady.
Rightfully put in their place.
"There is the old joke about the British Prime Minister eating out during the war time and asking for extra butter with his bread, the waiter refused to which the PM, rather annoyed, asked "'do you know who I am?'"
"To which the waiter replied, 'yes, I do, but rather importantly you have forgot who I am, I am the man who responsible for the rations of the butter'."- ScholarImpossible121Giphy
Of course, when people do dare to ask "do you know who I am", they never realize that the people they ask this immediately discover the answer.
Which is someone absolutely no one wants to be around.
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Moviegoers go to the cinema to be transported and forget–even for about two hours–about either the mundanity of their everyday lives or the stress of problematic situations.
But if there's one thing cinephiles roll their eyes at while watching a movie, it's the predictable plot twist or a typical scenario often depicted in films that lack imagination.
Curious to hear examples, Redditor cnukles1 asked:
"What's a movie trope you are sick and tired of?"
Hollywood tends to glorify and dramatize violence almost comically.
"When someone is stabbed/shot, limps around in pain for 30 seconds, then continues on as if nothing happened."
"On the flipside, it drives me nuts when bad guys get shot in the torso and drop dead immediately. They'd realistically have at least a few seconds if not minutes of consciousness."
"People being knocked out for hours and no brain damage."
That doesn't happen in real life.
"The broke 'Single Mom' who looks like she could model for Victoria's Secret. On the flip side, male gangsters, drug dealers or prisoners who look like they could win a state bodybuilding championship."
"Or same broke single mom with an awesome house and perfect clothes/hair. Can't they ever just dress like normal people and living in normal homes?"
"Bombs with helpful color-coded wires."
"There's a pregnant woman and she goes into labor right at the worst possible time. For drama of course."
When actions depicted on the screen are not plausible.
The Struggle Is Real
"Just once I'd like to see somebody struggle to find parking in Los Angeles."
The Structure Of Romance
"You're a jerk and I have no interest in you despite the fact that you are incredibly handsome, charming, and funny. We have to work together to save the world but make no mistake about it, I can't stand you. Let's just get this over with so I never have to see you again."
"Whoops, we f'ked. I guess we're in love now."
"Every disaster movie, the love interest always works at a hospital."
Let's Communicate Better
"When a simple conversation could have entirely solved the central conflict of the movie."
If everything happened on screen the way it does in real life, would it diminish your moviegoing experience?
Some people just like watching characters make believable choices. But if that's the case, you may as well go outside and film your own movie.
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Life's viewpoints can be so different when you're younger, when you have your whole life ahead of you, when you think you're fighting back against some tyrannical power bent on keeping your rebel heart in check. It's then, in those rage-filled glory years, you might think, "I'll never become like them. I'm going to keep sticking it to the man."
But years pass, and before you know it, you are "the man."
"What is your "You have become the very thing you swore to destroy" moment?"
You know who you are right now?
Doesn't matter if you responded, "No I'm not!" to that statement. You are your mother. You are your father. And there's nothing you can do about it. Cue evil laughter.
Rhetorical Questions Abound
"I told my friend's kids they could have a toy if they didn't fight over it, and if they fought I would take it back, they agreed, then proceeded immediately fight over it when I turned around. Without any conscious input from my brain I span back and heard myself exclaim "What did I just say?!""
"And suddenly I was my mother."
Coming Round Full Circle
"I teach at my old high school lol literally have coworkers that have sent me to the principal’s office before"
It's Going To Rot Your Brain!
"Complaining to my son about him playing to much video games."
Nothing Better Than Plans Getting Cancelled
"Growing up, my dad hated going out. When we went on church outings, we were always the first family to leave. He just wanted to stay in and read the paper or watch tv. I vowed to never be as boring as him when I got older."
"Now that I'm older, nothing makes me happier than when plans get cancelled and I can just chill at home, and not worry about the commute or how much money I'd have to spend going out. Even if it's something I'm looking forward to like a band I really wanna see, part of me still wants to not go because of how crappy the late night commute will be."
Where Do You Even Sit?
"My couch has no less than 8 decorative pillows on it. I am a monster."
"This is the worst one"
You don't think the job changes you. "I'm never going to sell out to the man," you tell yourself as you wake up at 4am to make your commute to the office.
Little do you know...
It's In The Fine-Print Within The Fine-Print
"I make commercials for a living. I f-cking hate commercials to the core of my soul."
"Ugh dude same."
"I got hired as an animator at an agency not too long ago, so I figured I'd be doing lots of fun and flashy animations. I don't mind making commercials so long as they've got interesting visuals, which is something I greatly enjoy doing."
"I've been making glorified powerpoints about Medicare ever since I got hired. I've frequently received feedback to literally "make it less fun". A project I made 2 years ago, a fun and flashy internal use video, is getting a new iteration that I'll be doing soon. The old version made setting up web pages and product descriptions look interesting."
"They said they didn't like it and to "have less fun" with it, so I plan on being spiteful and making it f-cking awful to sit through. The problem with that is that I know that's exactly what they want."
"I'm reminded of the Pixies from Fairly Odd Parents, and how Timmy and the gang are the exciting antithesis of the drab corporate culture the pixies represent. I didn't think I'd become one. Lord help me."
Karmic Payback Is Amplified In The Classroom
"I was in a computer class in high school and would drive the teachers nuts. I even had the other kids mocking the teachers by shouting out "on task!" whenever the teacher would start looking around to make sure we were working."
"I now teach a high school computer class. A student the other day stopped me before I could tell them to put their phone away and go back to work by saying "I know, I know, on task, on task".
"I was speechless and just left the student to return to my desk and rethink my life choices."
Stopping People From Having Fun
"When I setup the website blocker on the company network. I spent so much of my childhood trying to get around those blockers at school, and now I'm the one setting it up."
"Edit: Admittedly, I'm not so evil as to block things for being categorized as "tasteless" like my school did, it's really just porn and illegal things, but I still feel slimy for doing it."
"Edit 2: Also, so be clear, I don't work at a school. My company does however employ a lot of Salesmen, and they're basically children, so..."
Leaving The Grunt Work To Someone Else
"When I was an apprentice electrician it always pissed me off when my journeyman would make me do the hard manual parts of a job while he did the easier, but more technical work. I always swore that when I got my license and my first apprentice that I’d be different."
"That went out the window pretty quick."
We're products of those who raise us. We take in what they do, what they say, and how they act to become the people the outside world gets to interact with.
It's critical we recognize this, for better or worse.
Seeing, Growing, Learning
"Sh-t, a looooong time ago (when I was 11 or so) I was walking across the school yard. My dad used to beat my butt when he was having a bad day and it really f-cked with me, so I was walking and just fuming, hating on him and how much of a tyrant he was for taking out his anger on me."
"Well, in that moment I bumped into a kid like 1/2 my size and he went to the ground. He hugged my legs (I think reflexively) and I just started pounding his face. I remember him crying, begging me to stop, the hatred, and then just a sudden moment of clarity. I realized I was a sh-tty person, that I was super mean, and that the kid I was hitting had done nothing wrong but was just a helpless target for my anger. I instantly flipped to empathizing for him, and saw myself for who I was. I can't describe the horror."
"I started crying and helping the boy up, we walked to the office together in tears and I ended up telling my principal everything. It was a long time ago, so they just decided to give me an in school suspension and not inform my parents."
"Also, that kid and I ended up exchanging SNES games and playing mtg/warhammer together a bunch in the following years. Andrew, dude, I can't apologize enough, and thank you so much for not leaving me in a hell of my own creation. Decades later and I still think about you, and how kind of a person you were, you changed a life, man."
"EDIT: Okay, just to clear up misconceptions and mass respond. This did not flip a switch and end my relationship with violence and anger. That took, well, up until today and then some. I still have anger that flares up and completely blinds me, but after decades, I'm not losing control or lashing out. Andrew wasn't one of the kids that I went after at school, I picked on kids that I thought were bullies, totally oblivious to the commonalities between me and them."
"I don't really have words for those of you that were bullied, or hurt while at school. Except that those of you that fantasize about beating up bullies now, as adults, need to find a better method for feeling empowered. You are literally just adult versions of playground bullies, we all had the kids that we thought were okay to victimize for some justification or another."
We all have to grow up sometime.
Maybe don't worry so much about picking up that ice cream on the way home.
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