No, this is not a post on Bernie Sanders. Sorry to disappoint you.
Allow me to tell you the story of a man, whom I will refer to as Mr. Sanders, that I remember from my younger days. Mr. Sanders was in a number of my childhood classes and served as a volunteer. Though I don’t recall him doing too much, he always had something to say about whatever was being discussed. A lot of people, when discussing influential people from their childhood, talk about that one person who was a shining light of uplifting encouragement and positivity. Mr. Sanders was not that person, at least not from my perspective. On the contrary, I hated Mr. Sanders. When we were having class discussions that he was a part of, so often I felt my own knowledge and intelligence (and that of everyone else in the class) was being demeaned. He was always right, we were always wrong. I couldn’t stand that aura of smug superiority that he gave off and wanted nothing more than to prove him wrong in something, anything, just to take that confident smile off his face. True, I was just a child, and he probably did know better than me most of the time, but the way he communicated his higher level of knowledgeability seemed to be by making me feel like a fool. However, my chance to outwit Mr. Sanders never came. He went on to other things and I grew up. Awhile back I saw Mr. Sanders again for the first time in many years. Now an old man, he looked so gentle and serene, and nothing like what I remembered as a child. I didn’t talk to Mr. Sanders – I doubt he even remembers me – and I realized that I didn’t hate him anymore. Whatever grievances I had with Mr. Sanders had faded with time, and I had learned better than to hold a grudge. I forgave Mr. Sanders in my head and moved on with my life. The humiliation he had inflicted on me was in the past, and that was where it was going to stay.