Life Lessons of Compassion
You know, I sometimes get the ridiculous urge to purge myself on paper, even if it means exposing a side of me that I'm not always proud of....this is one of those times.
While skating with my 7 year old daughter at a school skating party one day, I was very suddenly struck by a feeling of well-being and of being blessed. I looked down at the little hand that was firmly planted in my own, and I inwardly nodded;
'Yes, I am blessed', I thought.
But as strange as it may seem, that feeling was closely followed by a heaviness that draped itself over my heart and confused me. Struggling to make sense of the contradictory feelings that were tugging at my soul, I noticed a little girl skating all alone.
She was not just any little girl. I knew who she was. I had seen her often at school and knew there was something seriously wrong. A strange little girl most of the time, often rude, and habitually messy, I watched as she teetered dangerously on the outer edge of her skate.
Drawn by her, but not knowing why, I kept an eye on her while I glided along with my daughter. I noticed that her skates were too big, and that her snowsuit was not suitable for our Quebec winters. I watched as she tirelessly got back up after falling with every single step. I looked in the stands for a parent who may be encouraging her and saw no one. No one held her handand no one helped her up after a particularly bad fall.
But what I was drawn to the most was the look of determination in her eyes. There were no tears, no whining and what I found to be the most incredible of all, was the strength of character written all over her. I had yet to see that look in the face of a 7 year old.
I glanced down again at my daughter. My wonderful daughter. And without warning, I heard the word 'blessed' spoken to my heart. And at the exact moment that I heard the word blessed, I knew what the feeling of heaviness was; it was shame.
Shame because I had judged a little girl. I had judged that little girl because of the way she looked, the way she acted and had secretly hoped that my daughter would never be her friend because of who she was. I know it sounds mean, but I'm trying to be honest. The fact that that little girl has seen and heard more than any 7-year old should ever have to has definitely shaped her into a problem child, and for that, I want my children to keep their distance, but as an adult, I need to be more compassionate and less judgemental.
I need to find the strength of character that I saw on that girls face and try to reach out and help instead of skating on by. I heard a voice that day, and as much as I try to write it off as an overactive conscience, my heart knows better. I was taught a lesson, A true lesson.
The words were so loud and so clear, I know I will never forget the clarity of that voice and the message behind it.
That little girl, with no parents to speak of, is a little hero just in the fact that she continues to live and to try and that she never gives up even if its just a little thing like learning to skate.
May I never forget that...I will never forget that!
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