Sunflowers with a circle with text. Happiness is the new rich. Kindness is the new cool. Health is the new wealth. Kindness is the new cool.

It was my first day at the Christian high school that my brother and cousin had attended for a year and I was excited but very, very anxious. All of my public school years had been tolerable but I had never really felt at ease or made close friends.

I was so afraid of going to the wrong classroom and possibly being jeered at, so even though they were clearly marked, I hesitated before I entered. I walked in so tentatively and sat down in an empty seat in the second row, second seat, hoping that was “okay”. Students were all laughing and greeting one another, friendly from the years before, but I knew no one. Then the pretty dark-haired girl in front of me – Shelley Everly Van Houten, turned around and introduced herself and when she heard my name, she said that she knew my brother (2 years older). She introduced me to a few other people and everyone was friendly and welcoming. I felt calm and happy.

In later years I followed her example by welcoming other new students as I had been welcomed. One of the friends I met that week was Lucy Atkinson, with whom I just celebrated 50 years of friendship. – Sharon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *