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I heard a man talking about his fifth grade “HERO” during a “MOTH RADIO HOUR.”

 If you also felt that you were out-of-step with what you imagined you were supposed to be thinking or feeling, you’ll appreciate this story.

 I’ve written before, about my fifth grade nemesis… the  “BULLY.”

This time, I won’t use her name, but she did seem to set a standard for what to look like and what to wear. Everyone, I thought, wanted to be her friend and be invited to her birthday parties. You might have said she was “popular”; I didn’t like her much.

I convinced myself that she was a bully and that the reason the other girls flocked around her was because they were afraid of becoming victim of her “power.” It was a “if you weren’t with her, she would turn on you,” sort of thing.

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Maybe I was just jealous.

In any event, my 10-year-old self celebrated a victory when she sought out my company on the playground and… I ignored her.

No, she didn’t turn on me. Maybe, she wasn’t so sure of herself after all.

What I do remember is a classmate, a boy, who over-heard the exchange and patted me on the back. “Way to go,” he said, smiled and ran away.

When I heard the story from the man on radio show, I was reminded of this girl… me,… so long ago. And how the boy on the playground, with his kind words, helped me to re-enforce and finally, set in stone, my idea of friendship.

The story-teller told his story about being a nerdy kid with unusual hobbies who was laughed at by his classmates until the “designated most popular girl” berated the teacher for not supporting him… in front of the whole class.

He said he’s forgotten the names of the other classmates and of the teacher.

But, he made it clear, he will never forget that fifth grade girl who stood up for him. He remembered everything about her, including her first and last names. He calls her his “hero.”

I wrote once, that I hoped my nemesis had grown pimples. I don’t feel that way any more. I’ve forgiven her and hope she’s forgiven herself.

 My new generosity comes with age, I think.

THE TAKE-AWAY:

A little kindness goes a long way; nobody ever forgets someone who stands up for them.

If you love a fifth grader, you may want to share this story.


Thanks For Visiting,

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