It Shouldn't Happen To Little Girls
HIV positive Teens
One Good Deed ...
As I dropped off my eldest daughter at work a young girl came up to me from the side walk. At first I didn't catch her drift and then I realized she was telling me she was hungry and could I spare some change.
She was around 22 and looked lost and frightened. There was a sadness deep within her and a general feeling of embarrassment. As I leaned over trying to hear what she was saying, she hesitated a bit and then stepped back. It gave me the impression of a frightened and hungry puppy that wants to be petted but is afraid of being hurt.
She is living on the streets, is HIV positive and has been rejected by her family. She is lost and trying to survive but doesn't really know how. She could have been my niece, my daughter or the child of a friend.
A sensation of utter helplessness, of wanting to do something but not knowing what, of feeling her inner pain and her despair came over me. I just saw a little girl, frightened, hurt and abandoned, trying to cope with something that was so big, so destructive, so incomprehensible that the day to day struggle to survive on the streets was just beginning to sink in.
I have the impression that all this was new to her. It is all beginning to happen. Perhaps in a short while she will be harder, more street savvy, thinner, weaker, angrier. As she stood by the car, all I could see was a lost and scared little girl. A girl who was being extraordinarily brave. A little girl that had lost those who were supposed to love her and take care of her.
Right now her family's rejection has shocked her (and me), the physical need for food is a priority, and her HIV death sentence is stalking her.
How, let alone why, she became HIV positive is not even important. She is.
What the future brings - a nightmare.
Her family - I know we should never judge, but all the same, the sight of this girl´s suffering makes you hurt for her. Things should be different for kids and our young.
I know, yes I know. Terrible things happen and the young and defenseless are those that suffer the most. Nobody said life was fair - but it should be.
My wife spoke to the restaurant owner where my daughter is working this summer and this girl will be getting a meal as long as she is around. The owner, a friend, said he would take care of it but as my wife said - "This is on us. You go out and find your good deed".
So, my friend, who ever you are, and where ever you are, go out and find your good deed for the day.
There is a brave little girl somewhere that needs someone to show she deserves a little more care.
It could be anyone, any age, any gender, and problem - but perhaps, just perhaps, you are the one that will make a difference today.
Attitude Is All You Have
Some years have passed since I came across this girl and however much I try to imagine what has happened to her since then I realize it is just impossible. Sometimes life doesn´t have a happy ending and in all probability this one doesn´t or didn´t.
I can´t help but think that we all have a mission in life but sometimes the cards we are dealt are stacked against us; at other times we fail to play those cards well. We can fall into despair and we can be overcome with depression. But whatever may happen we can always choose how to face up to it, to life.
Victor Frankl, the father of logo therapy once said:
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
So be careful when choosing your life´s attitude - it can be the one thing that makes all the difference.