Grade School wasn’t easy. I mean, education was easy. But that other stuff the teachers didn’t teach but you still had to learn, that was the hard stuff. And the dreaded recess, it was awful. Within the confines of twenty whole minutes you got to play, but before you actually got to play, you had to toil through the torture-esque process of being chosen for the kick ball team or the baseball team. Hating to be the last person, you inwardly scream “PICK ME PICK ME” each time, it didn’t matter what team you were chosen to be on. It only mattered that you are not the last to be chosen or, God forbid, the excess person not chosen for any team at all.
Why did I have to learn that? Wasn’t I too young to be taught the need for acceptance, the need to be “chosen”. Who knew that I would spend the next several years of my life inwardly screaming “PICK ME PICK ME”. I would spend so many days saying in no uncertain terms, “Hey you! Sum me up because I’m a girl or because my sneakers are cool, or because I don’t look like I hit home runs; PLEASE PICK ME” Who decided I’d get to spend the rest of my adolescence yearning to be picked? Who came up with the grand scheme of being picked, as if being picked was vital?
I mean it’s not like we’re apples hanging from the tree of existence hoping to be picked before our stems wear thin from the weight of our substance and we’d fall to the hard cold earth and rot.
We aren’t apples.
Yet, we spend each day picking people. We without regard for life, culture, or experience see people and sum them up. We without hesitation pick people. We pick people to show kindness, while we deem others un-pick-worthy. Those people aren’t worth our kindness because we’ve determined the return on the investment of our kindness is slim to none, so we ignore them. We pick people to express our unmerited rudeness. We pick them first because they are different from us, they smell different, they eat differently, they sin differently. We make no effort to love them where they are or show kindness to them because they aren’t just like us.
But they are. They are simply grade schoolers inwardly screaming PICK ME. Pick me because I am me. Pick me to show kindness to because I am worthy of your kindness and will reciprocate. Pick me because even after you’ve inaccurately decided who I am, I am still here picking you.