For the past several years I have taken bicycle vacations. You ride, camp and eat with other cyclists for a week in all parts of the country. My very first ride I went by myself. I was ok on my bike during the day, but at breakfast and dinners, which were included in the ride cost, I always felt like I was in school again. I got my food, looked around, and wondered where I was going to sit. Even as an adult, I had a bit of anxiety. I quickly made friends and each day found it easier to sit and talk with the other riders.
I recently saw a segment by my favorite CBS Sunday Morning reporter, Steve Hartman, on this very topic. Students at Boca High in Boca Raton, Florida formed a club after they noticed other students sitting by themselves during lunch. The young man who started the club had also been new and remembered how hard it was to make new friends. It’s especially difficult in high school, where cliques are prevalent.
The name of the club is We Dine Together. As another club member pointed out, just letting someone know you see them and want to listen to them makes a huge difference in their lives.
As I usually do when I watch Steve Hartman’s segments, I got teary-eyed. Which was ironic since I had just put drops in my eyes for my dry-eye condition. Fake tears mixed with real ones!
It just goes to show you that no matter what your age, we all need to feel that we belong and others value us. And any act, however small it may seem, makes a big difference.