Wouldn’t it make life so much easier if there were one simple test we could give to others that would determine whether or not they were a true friend? Well, from one child’s perspective there is and she calls it the “wart test”.
Having fined tuned this test during the hot summer days at camp, she is confident about its accuracy. After getting to know a potential “friend,” but while still wary of whether this person will be a “true friend,” she employs the test. While never having witnessed the test myself, my understanding is that the candidate is asked something like: “Hey, do you want to see something?” The unsuspecting candidate is then shown a rather large, slightly grotesque plantar wart on the bottom of the tester’s foot. If the candidate isn’t grossed out and still wants to hang out, then this child is considered “true friend” material. However, if the child judges her negatively based on this new information, she doesn’t get her hopes up and moves on (once she finally sees the pediatric dermatologist at Yale, she will have to find a different test!)
When I first learned about this test, I was fascinated and thought it was brilliant. However, after giving it some more thought, reality hit. Human experience is very much the opposite. We spend most of our energy trying to hide our imperfections, challenges and non-conformities, even from those we trust. If only life and relationships were as simplistic as they are in the mind of a child – that we could reveal our faults, physical and emotional, and be able to determine in an instant if others will truly accept us, warts and all.