My dad was a man of few words. He did not share much of himself with anyone - including his own children. So when he did share experiences with us - particularly about his past - it was indeed a rare treasure. Although I may have not appreciated it at the time, I now realize what a treasure it truly was.
We were having a family home evening lesson - I'm thinking on judgement. I remember him sharing an example from his past. He said that there was a boy in his class who was not all that nice, one that had the reputation of a bully. Someone whose personality clashed with everybody. My dad was no exception. He said though he had tried, he just didn't like the guy.
One day the teacher had given the class an exam. My dad said his arm was in a cast at the time, and he wasn't able to write the answers in the given amount of time. When the instructor called "time" dad's paper was only half complete.
I don't know if my dad would have said anything on his own. The classroom "bully" pointed out to the teacher that "Gary can't write the answers. It isn't fair."
He then volunteered to take my dad aside and write down the answers as my dad would say verbally. Dad said that ever since that time, he was able to look at people with new eyes and realize that probably everyone has some good in him.
probably a few years after dad had share this story, I had a similar thing happen to me.
Jeff seemed to have an obnoxious personality in my opinion. He was quite popular, but overall not my favorite person. I seemed to face low self-esteem. I was quite friendless at school and really didn't enjoy being there.
My mom had called the school psychologist in hopes that he could help mend my situation. Everybody knew that those that went to the school psychologist had issues. Those kids were made fun of. Way to go, mom!
I remember a time when my teacher told me that it was time for me to go to the psychologist office. Most of the class had gone out for recess or gone to lunch or whatever, but I do remember hearing Jeff ask when he would get to go. I didn't hear the teacher's response. I was mortified.
My situation did change, but it wasn't directly because of the school psychologist. Ironically, I give Jeff the credit for smoothing out the bumps in my road. I don't think I connected the dots until much later in my life, but it was after he had asked the question that he and a few of his buddies started paying attention to me and befriending me and teasing me about which of the three I would like to go steady with. They made being at school a lot more bearable.
I never told Jeff how much I appreciated that. I don't think I made the connection until many years later - when I didn't have contact with him anymore - not that we ever did have intimate contact. He may not even remember the situation. I'm certain that it was a lot more meaningful to me - especially since it was someone I hadn't even liked that had helped me.
I think there are lots of situations in which many are "saved" by someone that they either hadn't liked or maybe feared. Perhaps we ought to find a new perspective in others before we need saving. Just a thought.