Nothing is perfect, even airplane school. The flaw is a small peanut gallery who issue snotty remarks from the left (or, in aviation-speak, portside) rear corner of the room. I don’t know these guys, and I’m not even sure if one of them is responsible for all the comments, or if they take turns, or what. I just know them as annoying chatter issuing from that quadrant. They’re not gutsy enough to actually say anything to anyone’s face and I haven’t been interested enough to investigate further. From what I can tell they direct their snottiness at the more engaged members of the cohort, which means it’s sometimes directed at me.
When I first noticed this I was temporarily cast back into junior high school. It didn’t feel good, and for a moment I worried that airplane school was going to be ruined for me.
But then I noticed a curious thing. After that first twinge of 7th-grade angst, I stopped caring. Because from 7 AM to 1 PM Monday through Friday, I am exactly where I want to be, in my stacking chair at my fake wood table, drinking my coffee and absorbing airplane facts. While I appreciate what I learned in college, I have never felt so self-directed and purposeful as I do in my AMT classroom. It’s that sense of purpose that overshadows any of the negatives. So, a trio of douchebags want to make snotty comments under their breath? This is my problem because …?
People can hurt you when they have power over you. You can be hurt by someone whose good opinion you value, or someone you love, or someone, like an employer, who has influence over your material existence. Asshats who snicker from the back of a classroom, not so much. During every day I am at school I have a sense of purpose. I am there because I want to be there, because being there is the culmination a long held dream. Random opinions just don’t factor in because they don’t align anywhere with my purpose. They’re just background noise.
Our attention can be divided only so much, and for this reason, we have to prioritize. Next time some asswipe tries to get you down, ask yourself, “does this person align in any way with my purpose?” If the answer is no, they can safely be ignored.