When I was in the 4th

^When I was in the 4th grade, a girl from another class heard me talk and decided I was from England. So as elementary school girls often do, she spreads the word. (lucky me, I was her target) So for an entire quarter (3 months), I was the boy from England.

First couple of teases and fights about it (yes, kids will fight about anything ("Haha, you're from England" "You can't have America Back, England! you stupid. You lost, loser", "Redcoat!" – at least some loudmouths paid attention in history class), I defended myself, saying, "I'm NOT from England – I'm American!". But no matter how hard I tried to correct the mistake, I was still The Boy from England.

After three weeks of this kind of spotlight, I remembered, "Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones but Names Will Never Hurt Me." So I really worked hard to apply it.

So I learned at a young age, if the label doesn't impact your life in any significant way, you can accept it. Not accept it as true, but accept it as, "It doesn't matter." Untruths, especially being called names, usually simply don't matter.

"Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones but Names Will Never Hurt Me."

NOW there were other things to fight about – 4 eyes, you -girl-, teacher's pet, stupid – and the sticks-and-stones concept worked and didn't work to various degrees on some of the other name callings.

But finally, the wrong idea – that I was from England, went away over time. The girl who was The Troublemaker moved on to other targets by the next quarter.

The lesson?

Often a snap judgement (You are from England) is a fiction. A fiction is, at its root, a lie. Lies spread quickly and take a life of their own (they become elaborate fictional tales and spread and grow like a cancer). Truths (No I'm not from England) don't spread. Truths are usually boring and few people care about truths.

WHAT INSPIRED ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS: Last night, in a Google Hangout (video chat), a random women from another culture who was in the room with us – said, "KENNETH are you from England?" I told her where I was from. "No, you are from England, not America." I gave her a 2nd chance to get it right. "No, I can tell – you are from England. You are lying to me". So I started talking about something else and eventually, she went away. I was a pointless target for her odd behavior.

"Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones but Names Will Never Hurt Me."^

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