One person can make a difference

Rebecca Watts - Editor-in-Chief

Rebecca Watts – Editor-in-Chief

Rebecca Watts

Last week I traveled to the Student Life Center, where I had a revelation.

I was talking to students about Betty Rose, an employee in the cafeteria, because she was retiring after six years with Missouri Southern. It seemed as if every student that knew her loved her tremendously.

Rose ran the cash register, and knew almost every student by first name. She cared about the students and it didn’t go unnoticed.

When I broke the news to a couple of students that Rose was retiring, the reactions said it all. Shocked, sad and bewildered expressions of the students made me realize the impact one person can make.

People like Rose are hard to come by, but I have been fortunate to meet a few in my life. They’re always happy to see you. They always have something to say, even if it’s a question about your well-being, and they’ll go out of their way to help you. Do you know anyone like that?

People like that are true friends. They help their friends grow, make their skin thicker, inspire and listen. Real friends put effort into their relationships because they care. Not because they think it’ll help themselves in the long run, but for the happiness of someone who sticks out in the crowd.

The best friend I’ve ever had is Michelle Fogerson, who currently attends Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

She inspired me because she never cared what anybody thought about her. By the way, she graduated as our valedictorian in 2003.

We were in our awkward years in junior high and Michelle dressed however the hell she wanted. This chick strutted up to us in the hallway-we were but lowly freshman-and this chick was a senior. I was horrified.

“Why do you dress like that?” she sneered. “Don’t you know people talk about you?”

Michelle threw back her head in confidence and said, “I dress for me. I don’t care what they say.”

My best friend just turned around like nothing had happened, and the chick went back to her herd. That was a defining moment in my life. Michelle probably doesn’t even remember, but I will for the rest of my life.

This is the same girl who once ran through a creek barefoot with me in October, went hay bale jumping in the middle of the night and had a shaving cream fight in her kitchen. Small idiotic acts of lunacy are a necessity to a strong friendship.

Lately, I’ve heard, “You can’t please everyone.” But that’s what I’ve based my life around, and it could someday turn around and bite me. But I strive to be a true friend to people I care about. Is it my fault I care about everyone?

This little rant about true friends reminds me of a quote from A Knight’s Tale:

“Your men love you, and if I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough.”