Monday, February 1, 2010
So why would I start with a video with no explanation? The name of this blog is One Good Turn Deserves Another, and nowhere is that more evident than in Chapters 2 and 3 of my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male."
In Chapter 2, I introduce you to "Nancie" a younger, shyer classmate. She was my second grade teacher's daughter who came to our classroom one day when her kindergarten class was off. At lunch that day I approached her and reached out to her as I thought she looked uneasy and lost. After accepting my friendship, telling me her name was Nancie with an IE and thanking me for making her feel comfortable in class, Nancie not only sat next to me the rest of the day, she promised never to forget my name.
As I say in the book
"Fast forward to my junior year of high school. I became a teacher's aide in a freshman English class. Two of my responsibilities had me sitting up front at the teacher's desk grading papers and taking roll every morning. It was the first day of a new semester and a whole new class of freshmen sat in front of me. I always felt uncomfortable meeting new people and this was no different. I felt like they were all staring at me.
When it came time to call roll, there were some names I couldn't pronounce properly, which made me more nervous than normal. I got through most of the names and then called out "Nancy Ann." From the back of the room a confident voice answered: "Hi, Phil. My name is Nancie, Nancie with an IE."
I looked up and immediately felt at ease. It was Nancie from second grade.
She smiled and said, "You told me not to forget your name and I didn't. After you finish roll why don't you come back here and sit next to me in this empty desk?"
After roll call I made my way to the back row.
Nancie shook my hand and said, "You looked uncomfortable up there. Remember how nice you were to me that day in grade school?"
"Thanks for returning the favor." I replied.
Our situations had been reversed, but the underlying message of this experience remained with me. As a result of my making the effort to reach out, even though it was a small gesture, when years later it was I who needed the help, miraculously it was there.
And in Chapter 3, "Julie D." makes her appearance into the book and into my life. She was a new girl in school, just moved from Wyoming, and couldn't find any friends. Finally after some soul-searching and a talk with my mom, I decided to become her one and only friend at school. We talked about auras, UFO's and far-away Wyoming. But then...
"A few months later, a very excited Julie came to school and told the class that her family was moving back to Wyoming. As the two of us discussed this on our way home, Julie said to me, "We're all so lonely. Thanks for being my friend. You made my time here a little better."
As she handed me her book about auras, and then a second one, she said, "I want you to have my book. It helped me find you and I hope it will bring you new friends. This other one is about trusting your feelings. My mom told me that someday we all may have to make big decisions and that your feelings will never lie to you. She said to trust what they tell you. Anyway, thanks again for being my friend."
When we got to her doorstep, I hugged Julie, watched her open the door, wave good-bye and disappear inside. I never saw or heard from Julie again.
Julie taught me that just because someone is different than you are does not mean they don't expect the same things in life as you do. A person may look different, you may not have their same beliefs, and sometimes they may even act a little strange, but we all want the same things: to be happy and accepted for who we are.
So what does that have to do with the video above? What it all means is that you should look at the little things that happen in your life--they may be signs from above--and not only learn from them, but remember them forever. It's funny how the things these two girls taught me so long ago continue to reappear in my life.
Till next week,