It was summer. The family was to go to the river for a picnic. It was good for the family to occasionally do things together like that. They could swim in the river, and lie in the sun, and doze in the shade of a tree. They could eat from the picnic hamper, and sit on a rug.
There was Molly. She was sixteen. There was Jack. He was fourteen. And there were three younger ones: Josie, Cameron and Sally.
Jack didn’t want to go. “It sucks,” he said.
“But it’s a family picnic,” said his mother. “We’re all going.”
“I don’t want to go,” said Jack. “It sucks.”
“You’re going,” said his father. “We’re doing it as a family.”
Off they went. “It sucks,” said Jack.
“Take a more positive attitude,” said his mother.
“It sucks,” said Jack.
Jack hated the day. He moped and complained all day. He took part in nothing. He tried to ruin the day for everyone.
When they got home, everyone but Jack was tired from swimming and eating and sunshine.
“It sucked,” said Jack.
“That was fun,” said Molly.
But all knew the truth of the matter: a family’s mood is governed by the most selfish.