||[May. 25th, 2008|05:36 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
I was just reading this story from the HelpOthers.org website about a man seeing a crying freshman woman and saying some comforting words and was struck by the contrast.
I had a very similar experience. I think it was the only time I cried like crazy in public during my freshman year and possibly all of college. I was in the elevator with another girl from my floor, a pretty blond girl, and she said something like, "Jesus, whatever it is, get over it. It can't be that bad." And she walked out of the elevator ahead of me, never looking back, having made me feel 100% worse. It's the reason I often hid my sorrow, because no one wants to see you crying.
She and the man in the story above said similar things, and maybe they even both meant well. But his words cheered the author of that story while the blond's words were like throwing an anchor to a drowning woman.
I really like reading HelpOthers.org, because it give me great ideas and helps me keep my faith in humanity. But it often leaves me crying, selfishly wondering where were all these kind people during the first twenty years of my life?
It's really only been in the second twenty years of my life, since running into the greater susboid community, that I've found people capable of that kindness, giving me enough strength to be able to offer kindness to others myself.
In fact, I'd like to offer up special thanks to people like rmd, Christine (my old housemate), jbsegal, BVE (despite turning out to be an ass later) and his best friend Tom, liralen, allessindra and her husband, Frodo, tb, Paul & Francie, johnromkey, George W. Poulos, frobzwiththingz, gdaniels, Tim, Thalx, madbodger, H*, Vic, i_leonardo, Mason, gilana, RS, totient, the whole Rutgers networking & systems crew - including Alex (AKA Siggy), deguspice, Bressen, frotz, and many others I'm probably forgetting who were kind to me or took care of me in those first few years of hanging around the Internets, Elbows, and Fandom.
There are many more of you who've been wonderful to me since then, but those first few years... whew! Tough ones.