I never had a lot of friends in high school.
Senior year was somehow different. I don’t know why but by graduation I knew and was known by those I considered the “in” crowd.
I’m a believer in recognizing those who do good and as I read George Saunder’s convocation speech – and his realization that his life’s regrets were all failures of kindness – I was instantly brought back 22 years ago to my senior year and a very specific project I was working on with one classmate in particular.
I can’t at all remember what it was. It’s not important anymore. The thing that I still remember 22 years later, the thing that I still think about was how “Marie” treated me.
Marie and I were undoubtedly in many classes together. There just weren’t that many different AP classes to be in that didn’t overlap. But this was high school and “class distinctions” were a thing – cool kids didn’t spend time with the socially awkward nerds.
So while we knew each other we never spent any time with each other.
Except for some class project or something senior year where she treated this shy, Myers & Briggs INTJ type as anyone else; as just a normal classmate & friend. And this was very meaningful to the person I was then.
We even kept in touch for a short time in college and reconnected through Facebook.
You showed me kindness in a way that has left an indelible mark on me. An impact that, 22 years later, I still often think about and have never forgotten.
Thank you Marie.