Man, I’m heated right now. I can barely contain my frustration and anger right now. I just got my brother’s progress report emailed to me and he now has an outstanding 65% in his Gemeotry class. His grade has only worsened as the semester has progressed. I lecture the hell out of his ass all the time – I’ve been talking to him and trying to help him the entire semester, in addition to all the previous years. And how exactly has he responded to this entire situation? By dropping his grades even further below passing. I mean, math IS NOT that hard. It is not.
He has ZERO work ethic. ZERO. The minute he encounters a problem that he can’t solve within a minute, he will skip it and not even attempt to spend more than a minute or two trying to figure it out. He RARELY double checks any of his answers – I’ve RARELY ever looked over an assignment of his where he had every problem correct. The minute he approaches a situation that challenges him, he cowhers away from it and retreats with his head down and tail stuck between his legs. He has no fight in him. I think Martin Luther King Jr. himself said:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and conveniences, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
My brother will retreat from the first sign of conflict and inconvenience. The concept of challenging oneself is non-existent in his head. I mean, what the hell?? What the hell is he going to do when (and unfortunately, maybe if) he goes to college? He will absolutely get eaten alive. Man, I seriously find myself questioning the faith I have put into him. I’ve tried every single approach of trying to encourage him – from being a hard-ass to being understanding. Nothing has worked. He’s gotten WORSE. I mean, what the hell else can I possibly do? Maybe I should just leave him the hell alone and let him flutter in futility for the rest of his life until he actually comes to some sort of self-realization someday. Maybe that would work. But how can I stand by and possibly let any of that happen? I mean, I really feel more like his father than his brother – maybe that’s why I find myself so personally invested in his success.
I don’t want him to be one of those kids who has zilch, zero shit together when he becomes an adult. Doesn’t he want to avoid having to go through the same struggles that my parents did growing up? Maybe he was too young to remember too many of those – I don’t know. But damn, it’s like it doesn’t even faze him that he is on the precipice of failing a class. I mean, he’s in high school and he doesn’t even get in trouble. He doesn’t even hang with the wrong crowd or anything – for all intensive purposes, he is a good kid. He just doesn’t have his academic shit together. He’ll be taking the SATs next year and I KNOW that if he were to take them right now, he would perform deplorably. I have ZERO doubt about that. My optimism is instantaneously diminishing as the days pass. My biggest fear about moving out was the fact that I wouldn’t be there to get on his ass all the time – and that that would give him the freedom to slip back into being his lackadaisical self. For the most part, when I’m there and I tell him to do something, he does it. But now that I’m gone, nobody really can get through to him at all.
I mean, really, what else can I do? If there is any suggestion or advice that can be sufficed in this moment of habitual frustration, I’m willing to listen. I try REAL HARD not to compare him to me and my sis, but it’s hard not to. We NEVER, EVER let ourselves slip that much. We wanted IT too much. We knew how much we had to climb to get to the top and we never lost sight of that. Where is the fire in him? Where is that “fuck the world, fuck everybody – I’m gonna do this” mentality in him? I’m very afraid that he is going to putter through a life of ineptitude, indifference, and under achievement. I mean, this has been going on for some time now and it’s gotten to the point where I actually kind of WANT him to FAIL. What other way will he learn? He sure as hell won’t listen to the people that care for him the most and the people that have been there before. He won’t listen to the only people that actually BELIEVE in him and support him.
I tried to not let it bother me and tried to let him do his thing and figure it out himself, but it is so damn hard to stand idle and watch your own flesh and blood wallow in futility. Man, I’m so afraid that he will just be another nobody – another under achiever who reaped the cruel benefits of not giving nearly enough of a shit when he was young. What will it take to change him? Will he ever get IT?
It’s kind of like in Pulp Fiction when Sam Jackson is talking to the robber at the diner and explaining to him his interpretation of a quote from the bible.
The script goes as follows:
” “There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17.
“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. Now I’m thinkin’: it could mean you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here, he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could be you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be a shepherd. “
I feel like that. I feel like I’m at the point that I’ve nearly given up on him, but I’m trying REAL HARD not to, I’m trying desperately to believe that he can start giving a reasonable shit about things.
And I’m tired of hearing how he’s young and he has a lot of time to figure it out. Yeah, maybe he does, but if I see ZERO signs of him maturing into a responsible young man, then how do I know that time will alleviate that? Shouldn’t I see some signs of maturity? Something that gives me a flicker of hope, a sliver of sustained faith? I don’t know. I am more than likely overreacting way too much for something like this, but I can’t help it. How can I possibly expect less from him? I refuse to lower my standards for him – if I do that, then I am accepting mediocrity as success. No way. That does NOT fly with me.
Did I mention that I was heated?