Monday, January 7, 2008

I am rarely headline news -- jcarolek

Growing up number two in a family of six kids gave me an appreciation for the benefits of "remaining on the back page."  Sure, I had my talents, and I shone in ways my bothers and sister did not, as they shone in ways I could never hope to shine.  But I learned pretty early on that when I was in the headlines of the family newspaper, it was usually for things I had done for which I was not proud.  Earning an A in Biology was expected, bringing home a D in Math Analysis was cause for a meltdown.  I did both. 

I was not alone.  I was not singled out. I probably had an equal share of the headline news achievements as did each of my siblings. And I suspect they were equally loathe to find themselves on the front page.  So, I learned, as we all did, that there really are two ways to stay out of the headline news.

The first way, and the way most of us tried initially, was to lie, cheat, steal, do whatever it took to cover-up the facts before the family reporters brought them to the editor.  Yes, that worked sometimes, but more often than not, the truth eventually came out and, believe it or not, the family press found the cover-up even bigger news....broadcasts were carried worldwide.

The second way was to simply do what was expected, walk the straight path, sit and enjoy the scenery, explore without pillaging and, in general, behave.  While at first this seemed a rather daunting task, understand, everyone WAS focused on ME, I eventually came to prefer this route.  Of course that meant I had to study for my classes, stay awake in class, do my chores, practice my violin, eat what I put on my plate, and such, but it allowed me a wonderful freedom.

I had the freedom to read the front page, each and everyday, and never see my name with the latest scandal.  And I could enjoy the fruits I reaped by studying, practicing, working hard, eating right.....

I still prefer to avoid being headline news.

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