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Rated: E · Short Story · Experience · #1118675
This is a story of understanding and help, come join the cause, or at least understand....

Throughout my life as a student counselor, I have learned that one person’s problems may lead to an unpredictable road if help is not given in time. There are three children in particular that I have always remembered because of their strengths and their eventual willingness to help each other.

Jack was 15 when his dad passed away in a car crash; he came to me only because his mother had forced the whole family to see a counselor. For the first three sessions Jack did nothing but sit in the over-stuffed grey chair and stare at the posters around the room. During the forth session I decided that he needed to talk so I chattered away and let him mumble for a little while. He was feeling worse, the glazed look in his dull brown eyes proved that his caring for the world was almost through. It was understandable, death often does that to people, but he had to talk, otherwise there would be no helping him.

I continued to think about Jack; I couldn’t reach him and he wasn’t about to talk to anyone let alone go to school. About that time, however, I met a new arrival at our school. Her name was Jenny and she was paralyzed from the waist down, leaving her a very capable mind and upper body. She rolled around in her wheel chair and liked to play any sport she could, but the problem was the fact that no one really wanted to play with her. At 14, Jenny was a new student who didn’t understand her reason for being held back from life by paralysis. Even in the first few days, her anger at the world grew with her tears.

Now with two perplexing cases to deal with, principal Gates called me down to the office. There I discovered a young Arabian girl with her arms crossed sitting in front of the principal’s desk. (Her name was hard enough to say let alone spell, so everyone called her Mara.) It turns out that Mara had engaged herself in a fight with another girl who, according to Mara, was mocking her ancestry. With cases like these one needs to be careful because some people have a great weakness called pride and Mara was not about to heed to our sugar coated lectures. She was sent home for the day.

At my own home, I sat down at the worn kitchen table and talked with my 38 year old wife. Usually what I find so baffling is easy for her to discover a solution to, so I told her the basic dilemmas with each child. She sat there in her hospital smock and wrinkled her black eyebrows, a sign that she was thinking hard.

“So Jack is becoming depressed, Jenny is angry and Mara is outraged,” she paused, “all three are upset with the rest of the world and think that no one cares. They also seem to believe that they each have the worst problem and everyone else has it better…” She trailed off and I waited patiently. “You should get them all together; they could show each other about other people and other problems. They are not alone, but no one can be helped unless they each understand the other.” She laughed, “It’s very round-about, I know, but it could work.” I chuckled with her and gave her a peck on the cheek before going and finding a special book that I had hidden, she had just given me an idea.

The next day I planned it all out, asking each child to meet me at the library on Saturday at three. They all came and each was very surprised to see the others. That was just the reaction I was hoping for; perhaps this meeting could be enough to wake them up.

I introduced them to each other and made them shake hands; I could see no anger, though there was some sulking. Then I sat down with them and read them some excerpts from Walk Two Moons.

‘You can never tell until you’ve walked two moons in another man’s moccasins…’

At the end of the excerpts I asked them all for their feelings on the readings. They all said something relating to their own experiences, but Mara added in that no one else understood their reasons and their issues. I, however, disagreed and asked each of them to make their feelings known so that they too would understand.

“Well Mara, why don’t we all take a walk in your moccasins; tell us your story.” With that they all began to speak and by the end of the afternoon we bought ice cream with a smile.

So maybe that wasn’t the end, rather that was the beginning of their paths. These three children became friends and brought others into their circle, helping other people in their school to understand each other. They were set on the road of healing, and that was all that I could do, the rest was up to them. But one thing was for sure, there were going to be a lot of worn moccasins.
© Copyright 2006 Crazy Dreamer (matilda at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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