Sitting in the car yesterday, I noticed the hustle and bustle of the city, people littering, traffic rules being blatantly broken, kids begging- the sheer ugliness of it. Everywhere I turned, all I could do was be judgmental. “I’ve become so cynical,” I thought.
Having recently gone through a devastating period in my life at the loss of my seven beautiful children, you would expect me to be cynical, hell I deserved to be! The world is full of betrayal and mistrust, full of misery and suffering, it’s all about superficial egoistical philosophies… I could go on and on here but I’ll spare you the grief. But you know what, when the horizon appears bleak, dark and dismal, when even the moonlight seems to be suppressed by the choking hand of what humanity has become, when even the tiny little stars say to themselves, “Why twinkle, there’s no hope for this bunch,” a shooting star appears, hurtling down from the heavens, a tiny beacon of hope burning bright behind it. I suppose I should be thankful that my ability to at least recognize said shooting star has not achieved its demise….yet, nor would I ever want it to. And so begin today’s tales of the mundane, the ordinary, the seemingly non-relevant, that rekindled my drowning faith in life.
1. The Tale of the Ant Extermination: The children were lined up for assembly. It was a pleasant enough morning (considering that is was the peak of the Summer heat), and a little boy was fidgeting in the most unusual way. Now this kid was notorious for being quite the handful, borderline fussy and prone to getting his way. At first instance I thought maybe he had some ache or something. A closer inspection yielded quite a different story- he was trying to avoid squishing these tiny ants that were scurrying away from a morsel of food. I asked him what he was doing and trust me when I say this, it had an overpowering effect on me when he replied, “I am afraid I’ll kill one of these ants.” That’s all, nothing more, nothing less. How could I now despair of humanity, when this one child had this perception. My eyes welled up as I recalled how I used to keep telling my own kids that they shouldn’t squash ants, how God has given them just as much breath as we do and they’re not hurting anybody, let them be. What comes around goes around- sometimes.
2. The Tragedy of the Squished Fingers: It’s your classic tale, kid places fingers in the crack of the door, second child accidentally starts closing it (could have slammed it – how messy would that be). I turned my back from the super duper hyped up kids who were making a line to go outdoors for just one second (ah that dreaded second in which if an accident is to occur it will most definitely occur) and exactly what I mentioned above happened. This kid was no weepy sobby sort of a fella, no, the tiniest child,yes, but most naughtiest (in an uber cute style) of the lot he was. At first it looked bad, real bad. On closer inspection I noticed no red stuff, phew- then I saw blue lines neatly marked across his three middle fingers. He was kneeling on the floor during this inspection of mine, and as he looked up at me, something pulled at the strings of my heart. No longer was he crying out loud, but there were these huge tears slipping down his cute pink cheeks, but what really got to me was the innocence in his eyes. In that moment, everything just kind of fazed out. I hugged him close, feeling for him as if were my own child (with whom I had done the same on multiple occasions). As I fixed him up and pacified him with a couple of band-aides, as his sobs gradually stopped a miracle happened, you may not agree with me here, but to me it was a miracle. He smiled. And that smile said a multitude of things to me. Is it ironic that words defeat me at this moment? You just had to be there. Things fell into perspective, the world started playing again and all was right – for a moment at least.
Some may take these to be ramblings of a hormonal post pregnancy woman, but believe you me, I feel so much more enlightened. Truly, we teachers are so lucky. I hear teachers talking about how they have the power to touch the lives of children and how they empower our future generations to become the best they can be, and it is all true, but I would like to take a little liberty and say- these kids, they touch us in ways like no other, they teach us teachers so much if we choose to enlighten ourselves. I stand proud of my profession, and today, for a while at least, I am not cynical.
If you were inspired by these tales, drop me a comment and I’ll happily share some more, and you should too. What ordinary things inspired or moved you to great lengths?