Tonight, I was thinking back to my grade school days. I was recalling a time (probably several times) when my desk had reached some critically messy state and my teacher went to war with me about it. I think it escalated to the point where my parents were involved, as everything seemed to do, and my parents would withhold love and affection from me until I made some kind of turnaround that placated the teacher. I remember the sight of my books and notebooks forming two neat piles in my lift-lid desk. The feeling of well-being I had after righting the situation--which was kind of a fake drama anyway--was so vivid that it fueled a lifetime addiction to approval. Tonight, I've been doing alot of thinking about what it would feel like not to get involved in such situations, either for good or for ill, but just to kind of stay neutral.