Lesson in Tactfulness

Happenisms are brief thought-provoking life events.

By Kevin RR Williams

HAPPENISM Unprompted by anything I recall, a 10-year-old child excitedly, tells me, "You know what? You're fat. You're fat and I'm not." Keep in mind that to a 60-pound child, any adult is over(his)weight. At 6' 4" (or five-foot-sixteen as I say) and ranging between 238 on a good day to 248 on a bad one, I didn't take issue with the accuracy of the statement.

He continued, "I have a six-pack and you don't." Ah, there's the reason for his jubilance. He discovered bumps on his belly. "Wanna see?" he asked. "No, I believe you," I said to quell his enthusiasm a bit. This provided an ideal opportunity for teaching. My response? "That's great to hear. But I have something you don't." Puzzled, as if he has it all (though, in fact this child has many medical disorders), "What's that?" he asked. "Tact," I responded.

I hope to periodically share happenisms as a new feature throughout 2014. Some may be longer than others. It may take a few for you to get the hang of it but each should leave you thinking about a moral or lesson. What things have you learned or taught recently? Share your thoughts below and tweet #happenism so other readers can follow them on Twitter.