Small Man Syndrome

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Growing up I was short, I mean very short. How could I expect to be anything different with a mother who stood five foot four inches and a father who was five foot six inches? I don’t remember if I was always the smallest one in my class, but if I wasn’t those that were shorter than me were really small.

In junior high I met two friends who were about the same height and weight as me, Ricky and Ed. I learned a valuable lesson from Ricky. He had what many people call “little man syndrome”. In other words, he was one of those boys who have act more aggressively because they are trying to compensate for their small stature and want to show others that they can be as tough as bigger boys.

Ricky had this trait, and he used his mouth to try to prove that he was as tough as the big boys. As a result, he was constantly being bullied, pushed, and hit. Trouble followed him, and he developed a reputation for having a big mouth. The result? Fewer friends for starters

As mentioned earlier, Ed and I were about the same size as Ricky, but I think we avoided getting beat-up because we accepted our size and were comfortable with it. It was not easy being so small, but we learned to cope by shutting up and not aggravating the bullies. Keeping quiet resulted in keeping our teeth and avoiding fight related bruises.

Time passed quickly, and, before we knew it, we were in high school. We were not as short as we had been in junior high, but we were still short. As a 16-year-old sophomore I entered high school weighing 95 pounds and stood at five feet two inches in my stocking feet. Ricky and Ed were about the same size.

When we were seniors and ready to graduate, I was taller than both of them, and I remember they weren’t much bigger than they were as sophomores. I was the one with small parents, yet I somehow managed to keep growing till I was six feet tall and graduated from high school weighing one hundred and thirty-five pounds.

A blessing I received from being so small in my younger years is a first-hand understanding of what it’s like being small. This allows me to relate to those who struggle with their size.

As parents we can help our children understand and accept differences in their friends and acquaintances. Learning to see others through their eyes is an important quality we should help our children understand and develop. Let’s do it! 

Happy Failing Forward,

Calvert Cazier

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