“Some people come into our lives and quickly go…Some stay and make footprints on our hearts…And we are never, never the same.”~Author Unknown~
We meet many people in our life. Some of them just pass us by, some stay for a moment, some linger a little longer and some just leave footprints on our hearts as the beautiful quote goes.
The last category…. that is, people who leave footprints on our hearts are the hardest to find.These people are rare ….
For,they come into our life quietly and go as quietly and before we know it, they have left footprints on our heart.
But this is not about those people.
This is about people who are not content with merely passing by. Its about people who will stop not to leave footprints on your heart but rather to erase even any from before that have been left by others.
I have come across many such people in my line of work.People who have no business being anywhere near a child ,so mean they are.
How does one wipe away that hurt from a child’s eyes caused by a word spoken in carelessness? How do you reassure a child and make him/her believe that the world is not like this? How do you restore that fragile confidence that has been shattered in a heartbeat?
I have heard many people saying …no, proclaiming proudly to the world that they love kids.That they adore kids.
I disagree.(of course exceptions are there) I always have my doubts in these cases..Loving kids is NOT about fawning over them every two seconds and coochie cooing over how cute they look or how adorable they are.
Loving kids is not about telling them to draw a cloud that’s white and a sky that’s blue.
Why cant a cloud be purple and the sky green? Why do fishes have to swim in the water? How can you tell a child that fishes are not supposed to fly?
Even a one year old has brains enough (and the instincts) to know when someone is being fake.
Loving kids of any age is about letting them bloom like wild flowers growing in a forest.
You are not the gardener and you don’t have to make them perfect, or prune here, snip a little there, just so.
Children are not meant to be perfect.They are meant to be themselves .
Its about not interfering when they are about to make a decision. Even something that seems as small as selecting a pencil box.
Its about not interrupting when they talk because they need someone to listen and listen well.
Its about not solving problems for them.
Its about not dismissing what they say or joke about it.
Its about allowing them to argue because they need to test their ideas.
Please don’t make them shut up by throwing around terms like ‘respect’ and ‘maturity’ and ‘responsibility’.
If they don’t learn to argue and question, how will they move forward?
Argue respectfully and sensibly? Yes, for sure…but they do need to argue and debate.
Debate without turning petty or personal.
That they will learn on their own. But first let them share.
Or how will they overthrow the established order and discard dogmas?
They will learn.They are learning.
Just give them time. Time to fumble.Time to make mistakes. Time to learn from those mistakes..
All on their own.
Its about not making them feel guilty and not blaming them for all that they do.They are kids.They will learn on their own.Let them fall a few times and get up on their own.
Be there to hug them when they look around, their eyes searching for you.
And keep in mind that even a 16 year old is a kid.
I have about had it with colleagues who tell me that those in 11th or 12th are grown ups and should be responsible.
Responsible yes, they should be…but only to a certain extent..beyond that they are bound to make mistakes…and how can we treat them like grownups?
We have been through it all ourselves.
How can we not understand the heartache of a 15 year old when his/her friends ignore him/her?
How can we not understand that romance too is part of this growing up?
That they will grow out of this phase of ‘infatuation’ just as we did?
That deep inside, their hearts tremble in fear of the consequences of every step that they take?
Why this rant?
Because I believe ,I really believe that children who grow up with this basic confidence missing ,children who had their every step ,every action questioned are the adults of today who seek to only hurt.
The adults who cannot understand how or what friendship means.
The adults who are simply lost when it comes to love.It’s so hard for them to believe that there are people in the world waiting with open arms and a heart that’s full of love.
The ones who turn petty and mean and rant about things that they are unable to control.
In their world everyone else has something better than what they have. Always. Everytime.
The ones who don’t want anyone to break that cocoon that they have put themselves into.The ones who would rather stay in a shell always and forever.
Its heartbreaking to see.
The grownups who are supposed to be adults and yet hide a scared,frightened child deep inside.
And the one thing that these scared grownup ‘children’ do is lash out.
Lash out at all that they think is unfair in life.
Lash out and make others feel guilty.
Lash out with a caustic tongue and an acerbic wit.
Lash out and make sure that no one gets close to them.
Its hard for them to trust anyone and they have a circle of very close friends and sometimes not even that.
These adult ‘children’ are a product of that vicious circle.The circle that will stop only when they stop it.
The circle that will continue unabated if they keep strangers at a distance and refuse to have a dialogue with life.
‘Mean’ people the society calls them failing to realize that inside that mean person hides a very frightened child.
They are afraid because they were hurt once before and are scared that the pain will never stop.
The truth is that all of us have been hurt at some point in life.The degrees may vary but pain is an inevitable part of life.The degree may be really high for some.
But why is it that some come out of it seemingly intact while others carry the hurt around till their dying breath?
Lines from somewhere ….
The fact is that we’ve all been hurt, and we’re all wounded, but not all of us are mean. Why not? Because some people realize that their history of suffering can be a hero’s saga rather than a victim’s whine, depending on how they “write” it. The moment we begin tolerating meanness, in ourselves or others, we are using our authorial power in the service of wrongdoing. We have both the capacity and the obligation to do better.
Its a merry- go-round one where all of us are being mean to each other.You are mean to me,I will be mean to you…..you’ll be even more mean to me and I will be meaner to you too and so on..
Decide when you want to get off this merry- go-round.
And no ,the other person will not stop being mean.
Children live for the present.Why don’t you?
Live as if there’s no tomorrow and love unconditionally with no strings attached…
Whatever our hands touch-We leave fingerprints!
On walls, on furniture, on doorknobs, dishes, books.
There’s no escape.
As we touch we leave our identity.
Oh God, wherever I go today help me leave heart prints!
Heart prints of compassion, of understanding and love.
Heart prints of kindness, and genuine concern.
May my heart touch a lonely neighbor,
Or a runaway daughter,
Or an anxious mother,
Or perhaps an aged grandfather.
Lord, send me out today to leave heart prints.
And if someone should say “I felt your touch,”
May that one sense your love touching through me.
Whether one believes in God or not….but Humanity is something we can all believe in, cant we? 🙂
This is why use your words with care.Your gestures with even more care.
For, sometimes they are all you have. And sometimes all that a stranger might have received the whole day.
Edited to add:- 22nd June 09
Here’s a beautiful post that I saw today and it made me smile and think about how so many souls think the same things. The world would be a beautiful place if only children were treated more lovingly.
Go here to read this post.