Do you know anyone who is irritated all the time? Do they have a lot of friends? Think about this: People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. In the book “The Lightning Thief”, book 1 from Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, the main character Percy, struggles to build positive relationships in both school and at home, at the same time, is trying to keep hold of his impermanence temper. He can improve this situation by being close to ones that he already has bonded with, or show compassion for others, and spend time with ones that show empathy for him. Nice opening!
In the first three chapters of “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan, we could infer that Percy is really negative about his life. In the book, “The Lightning Thief”, the main character Percy states “Not to some jerk like Gabe” after he was half expelled half leaving Yancy, a school he was attending. He went home and had to face his stepfather, who was a gambler and a drunk. As stated in the text, Percy called his stepfather a jerk, which really isn’t a nice thing to say, especially to your own step-father. It can be seen that he didn’t build a positive relationship with his father. And at school, things aren’t going any better as it is at home “I put up with this girl named Nancy the freckly red head hitting Grover in the back of the head with chunks of peanut butter and ketchup sandwich.” (page 2) The quote is from the fairly beginning of the book, which we could tell is a horrible thing. No one likes to be bullied, and nor does Percy. Now again, Percy used a not-so-kind name “the freckly red head”. Both quotes can tell us that Percy is an impulsive, angry kid, who might not be able to control his emotions that well. But why is he such a troubled kid? Let us excavate the truth. “The support offered by a caring friend can provide a buffer against the effects of stress” In a study of over 100 people, researchers found that people who when through a stressful experienced receive faster recovery when they were reminded of people with whom they had strong relationships. （Why Personal Relationships Are Important, by Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, Ph.D., 2016）Percy doesn’t really have many strong relationships built. Also according to another study done in 2012 (Having good friends can improve our well-being, especially during the holidays, adapted by Newsela employment, 2020 ), “Loneliness has long been commonly associated with depression……those with fewer satisfying social connections experienced higher levels of depression, pain, and fatigue.” Percy didn’t do well in school. He got c’s and d’s at first but then they started to slip to f’s. he was feeling cranky and irritable most times, he got into fights, and was sent to the hallways nearly every class. He didn’t have a lot of friends in school, not a lot of people that can help him go through stressful times. This led to him careless about school, grades slipping, building more negative relationships, and he kind of fell into this worsening cycle.
Even with all of the skills Percy needs to master, he isn’t lost in nowhere. Because as the book states “Her name is Sally Jackson, and she’s the best person in the world……she can make me feel good just by walking into the room” Percy’s relationship with his mother is conspicuously well. “makes me feel good just by walking into the room” shows how strong the bond is, and this is how much joy his mother brought him by simply being close. If he had bonds like this at school, maybe he won’t be so grumpy all the time. Percy could try living with his mother and maybe even could change his attitude towards life. (like he did at the end of the book) “Friends going through a tough time often need extra support during the holiday season. The best gift you can provide is empathy. Spending time together, paying attention and listening are ways to show compassion.” “states friendship expert Shasta Nelson. This is what Percy needs the most. A tinkle of empathy may loosen up the sturdy brick wall that he had built between him and others. “And yet… there were things I’d miss at Yancy. The view of the woods out my dorm window, the Hudson River in the distance, the smell of pine trees. I’d miss Grover, who’d been a good friend, even if he was a little strange. I’d miss Latin class, too-Mr. Brunner’s crazy tournament days and his faith that I could do well…… I started choking up, thinking about Grover and Mr. Brunner. Even Nancy Bobofit suddenly didn’t seem so bad.” (PAGE 34) Nancy’s relationship with Percy is corrupted, and yet Percy is feeling a longing for her. The best way to turn a quarrel into friendship is to let Nancy feel empathy and compassion for Percy and to know that he is really lonely. This way, he is building new bonds that are positive and will soothe his disordered and rather uncontrollable emotions. After creating bonds like this, Shasta Nelson again states “Making plans to spend quality time together or attending a friend’s holiday event.” This could strengthen the bonds Percy is creating, and eventually, he would be the once lonely little boy no more.
In conclusion, In the book “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan, our main character Percy, needs to build strong relations with people in school and at home, this will keep his anger at bay, while making him feel confident about his life. Empathy and compassion are two main points that will help him on the path ahead.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”