Thursday, February 23, 2017
I once read the most startling essay written by a boy who must have been ten or eleven when he wrote it for a school assignment. He vividly described the anger in his home and how he and his sibling as the smallest and most vulnerable often became the landing place for all the frustrations and hopelessness his parents felt. After a particularly intense clash with his father, the boy was sent to his room. Throwing himself on his bed he cried to the point of exhaustion, slipping in and out of sleep.
He wrote of feeling groggy at one point and uncertain whether he was even awake. In the haze his father came to him. With a gentle touch, he reached out to his son apologizing for taking his own sense of powerless out on the boy who was surely even less powerful than he was himself. The boy felt a warmth flood his heart and drifted back to a more peaceful sleep than he had experienced in a long time.
The story ended with the boy shocked to his senses by the angry shouting of his father. Suddenly aware of his surroundings, he comprehended that he had indeed been dreaming and that nothing in his circumstances had actually changed while he dreamt.
Reading this story scrawled in the childish script of a young boy, I recall audibly moaning from the pain of the piece. Yet, he was not writing to elicit a reaction; he was writing of life as he knew it. I wish it were true that this boy’s experience was unique or that it couldn't happen to people in my part of the world. The truth is that the boy attended the same school that my children attended. He and children like him live in my town. They are someone I know, and someone any of us might know.
A child can be impacted by an adult who takes an interest, who is willing to read with him, to volunteer in his school or his activities. There is too much pain in this world for one person to impact it all, but there is pain in small pockets that we can each impact. Go out into your world. Touch another life. Genuinely helping others gives you a sense of usefulness. When you return home you will discover you are more content in the simplicity of your home than you ever realized. Home should be a beautiful place for us all.
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I appreciate these thoughts about home. I always appreciate your writing.ReplyDelete
Hey, thanks old friend! I need to stop by and discover what's new with you.Delete
This experience is so true and so sad. We do well to always remember what a huge impact we can have on others, especially those little ones around us.ReplyDelete
When you keep that fact in perspective it can not help but influence the way you treat others.Delete
I remind my daughter often that there are kids she goes to school with who endure the unendurable every day. I wish I could fix that.ReplyDelete
That was always the most painful part of teaching for me - knowing that there were situations like these that kids had to deal with every day and every night. Heartbreaking. The worst part is feeling helpless to be able to change anything. We always try to gently incorporate that idea into conversations with our daughter - we don't always know what causes people to act the way they do in school and have to remember that their behavior could have something to do with things they have to deal with outside of school. I hope that it teaches her as she grows to be a compassionate and caring person.ReplyDelete
I have a feeling that is exactly how she will grow up!Delete