We are living in troubling times, folks, and it would be phony of me to focus on funny stuff today when I’m not feeling very funny. So I went searching for something inspirational.
If there is anything to hang our hopes on, it has to be children. They hold the future in their hands and hearts. Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. I’m not sure if there was a winner, but the following somehow helped lift me out of my melancholy mood.
- A four-year-old child’s next-door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who recently lost his wife, and he was sitting on his front porch. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
- Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted. A little girl said, “I know all about adoption, I was adopted.” “What does it mean to be adopted?” asked another child. “It means,” said the girl, “that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!”
- On my way home one day, I stopped to watch a little league baseball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was. “We're behind 14 to nothing,” he answered with a smile. “Really?” I said. “I have to say you don't look very discouraged.” “Discouraged?” the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face. “Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet.”
- Jeremy was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jeremy rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. “Guess what, Mom,” he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me. “I've been chosen to clap and cheer.”
- An eye witness account from New York City on a cold day in December: A little boy, about 10 years old, was standing before a shoe store, barefooted, peering through the window and shivering with cold. A lady approached the young boy and said, “My, but you're in such deep thought staring in that window.” “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy's reply. The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of warm water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel. By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. After putting the socks on the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to the boy. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.” As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand and, looking up into her face with tears in his eyes, asked her. “Are you God's wife?”
I feel a bit better, but I’m not watching the news today. The sun is shining, and I’m headed for my greenhouse, which is like a little chapel for me. Sometimes, when our spirits are sagging from the “ain’t it awful” news in our world, it’s up to us to do whatever makes us feel better.
Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to Rotary International Foundation, is available on Amazon, at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]