Anyone who knows me can’t help but realize I like to joke around and tease others. One of the people I occasionally tease is Evelyn Creps, our congregation’s board chair person. She also picks back. We both know it’s in fun and we don’t take it to heart. The reason we can do this is because we are building our relationship in other areas. Since she’s been the board chair person for the past two years, we’ve had many conversations regarding church business. We also talk about life. I ask her how she’s doing and she asks about my family.
I went grades 1-12 with a girl I’ll call Sally. She came from difficult circumstances. Her family was poor so often her clothes were outdated, ill-fitting and a little dirty. She also struggled with her grades and, unfortunately, often ate alone at lunch.
Some of the other students picked on Sally about her hygiene and academic struggles. I teased Sally too but, as well as I can remember, I never teased her about her appearance or grades. I just picked on her like I did my friends. Although I couldn’t see it at the time, I now realize there were issues with the way I picked on her. First of all, I didn’t really have a relationship with her. We had different friends and different interests. Second, and most importantly, she never picked back at me. She just hid behind her smile. (more…)