It took awhile, but I’ve finally figured out that most people are pretty tough.
It’s easy to assume that we are stronger than others — or at least stronger than others give us credit for.
It’s harder to accept that we are not especially unique.
It’s also easy to underestimate the easy-going. Until someone crosses the line, their true grit is obscured.
At a high school reunion two years ago this weekend, everyone was friendly and accepting. Yet, there was still an almost imperceptible undercurrent of that popular-boy-or-girl-in-high-school syndrome — with other classmates still being viewed as the nice-but-not-quite-somebodies.
Sitting with classmates at the Friday night homecoming game and Saturday afternoon luncheon, inside, I smiled wryly.
Apparently, nothing anyone had experienced, accomplished or become had completely changed the high-school-glory-days equation.
However, I will give everyone the benefit of the doubt that those tiny undercurrents could have been stilled completely had the reunion been less hurried and superficial in allowing us to become better reacquainted.
I am sure that all my classmates have grown immensely in developing genuine kindness and empathy.
It is only when we cross the line, including making skin-deep assumptions, that we discover just how strong those nice-but-not-quite-somebodies have always been — and the somebodies they have become.