We were sitting in a high school class. The teacher was asking us questions we were supposed to answer on paper. It wasn’t a quiz or test. Just something we were doing, maybe to realize things about ourselves?
I don’t remember.
I do remember the teacher asking us to write down our “best friend’s name”. You could hear the scritching of twenty plus pens on paper as names were written.
But one girl spoke up. She was sitting in the row to my right, one seat closer to the front than me. I could see her in profile. She wasn’t writing.
She told the teacher she would never rate her friends. She would never say one was “best” because it would make anyone else who was her friend feel like they were “less than”. And she didn’t want anyone to feel like that.
The teacher accepted this.
I sat there then, and sit here still today, thinking about that.
That girl left such an impression on me. That she was that considerate of other people’s feelings. At that young age she had the wisdom to know something that once it was said, seems like we should all have known it.
But I know others had written down names.
I looked down at my paper and drew a line through the names I had written and not been able to choose from.