A Little Bit Different

Dear readers:
Did you know that St. Therese had something in common with Chad? She was teased in school, just like him. She went to an all-girls' school in Lisieux and was miserable there. A very smart student, Therese was teased by the girls, who were irritated and jealous that she knew the answers in school and excelled in her studies. But Therese wasn't trying to show off. She couldn't help that she knew the answers.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Therese was a bit of a loner, with few friends. While the other girls would play games during recess time, Therese preferred to be off by herself, exploring nature, and she felt calm and happy doing this. A very sensitive child, Therese would look for dead birds lying about so she could give them a Christian burial. Chad seemed happy enough reading his book alone at recess, but I bet he would have loved it if someone had sat down beside him and showed some interest in it, too. And I think Therese would have enjoyed having a friend to talk to at recess.

Eventually, Therese's father permitted her to continue her studies at home, with one of her older sisters as her tutor. She was much happier learning in this environment, where she felt she could be herself.

Sometimes it's hard to be different, and to have different interests than the rest of the crowd. Can you think of someone in your class like Therese or Chad? Someone who seems to be by him/herself most of the time? I like to think that, if the girls in school had given Therese a chance, they would have discovered that she was a fun-loving, nice person to be around. Maybe someone you know could use a friend. Don't always assume that he or she wants to be alone. This could be the case, but wouldn't it be better to offer that person your company, just in case? The next time you see someone by himself on the playground, walk up and say "Hi." You never know what might happen!

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