Jed is from the deep southern US and has the accent and attitude to match. Jed is one of twelve children. Jed is one of two children in his family to graduate high school. After high school Jed joined the Navy as an enlisted man and had a successful Naval career with many promotions and awards during his time as a sailor.
Stephen is from the midwestern part of the US. Stephen is the oldest of three boys, all of whom graduated high school and eventually went on to get college degrees. Stephen joined the Navy as an enlisted man shortly after high school and was discharged with honors after 8 years of military service, having received many promotions and awards during his time as a sailor.
Jed and Stephen have the same job on the ship. Stephen manages 25 enlisted men in engine room #1 and Jed manages 25 enlisted men in engine room #2.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because Jed’s family perceived Jed in an entirely different fashion than Stephen’s family perceives Stephen. Jed was the pride of his family. He had completed high school and then went on to join the Navy, which was wildly successful in his family’s eyes. Stephen’s family perceived Stephen as a miserable failure and had no idea why Stephen joined the Navy and had no idea what Stephen did. Stephen was ‘wasting his time’ in the Navy.
Jed’s story led to my first real realization that it was my family that was the issue and not me. Here Jed and I had the exact same job and were both very successful at our jobs, yet Jed’s family perceives him in an entirely different light than my family did.
Just another example of how no matter what I did with my life, it was insufficient and never good enough in the eyes of my family.