When I was in the seventh grade I was shy around girls. The stress of talking to a girl was almost more than I could endure.

It was traditional that the seventh graders had an end of the year dance requiring dance cards. I was traumatized at the thought of being expected to attend with my card filled. For three weeks I carried an empty dance card in my pocket.

Marsha was the most beautiful girl in seventh grade. She had long blonde hair, a perfect complexion, and a smile that put boys in heaven. I had known her since the first grade and only talked with her once or twice in all that time.

A few days before the dance, Marsha asked me to be her dance partner for one dance. I don’t know if I even answered her or just nodded my head, but I did write her name on my card.

I have often thought about this experience and wondered why Marsha asked me to dance. I don’t know the answer but I believe it was because she recognized my shyness and was sensitive to my needs. She was a thoughtful person who used her talents to lift me when I needed lifting.

Her willingness to give of herself was a small, meaningful step in my progression of obtaining confidence and hope. Lifting others in simple unobtrusive ways is a resiliency skill that we could all develop.

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