I must share a heart warming experience I enjoyed this week, both as a parent and a human being.
My daughter, Emma (in 7th grade), started back to school last week. There is a young boy in her class (call him Jake) who is quite overweight. As you might expect he is the butt of many jokes and is treated very badly by other kids (and even by the teachers). Jake gives the impression that he's not a nice guy, mostly because of the fact that he's constantly picked on.
For several nights this week Emma came home from school upset about the fact that Jake gets picked on so much. She also mentioned that he had no school supplies as his family could not afford them. He was constantly asking to borrow paper, which just gives kids even more reason to pick on him.
One night Emma was extremely upset about this situation, not only because Jake was picked on but that he also had no supplies. We sat together that evening and discussed the situation in great detail. We devised a plan for Emma to engage Jake in a conversation and for her to ask Jake what he needed for supplies.
The next day Emma spent some time with Jake and really came to realize that this young man had a heart of gold, but rarely was able to show it because he was always on the defensive
. Emma asked Jake if he needed supplies and if he could make a list for her for she would bring in extra supplies that she had at home for him. He put together a small list, 3 ring binders, paper, pens, pencils and a pencil sharpener. Emma told him she would help and he was most appreciative.
That evening Emma and I made a pilgrimage to the store where we bought everything on his list and then some! Emma mentioned that he needed a new pencil box for the one he had got destroyed when one of his pens exploded - so we added that to the list. When we got home, we put all the supplies into a brand new grey back pack - because Jake did not have a back pack either.
The next day, I brought the bag to the school principal and explained the situation. I asked the principal to give the bag to Jake discreetly so that he did not have to feel embarrassed.
Later that day I picked Emma after school and she was all smiles. The principal had called Jake down to his office and gave him the bag. Jake read the little note that Emma had put inside hoping that he had everything that he needed and to enjoy the supplies. As Jake walked into the classroom - he winked at Emma and later thanked her very much for all the stuff. He loved it all!
Emma said that is was so cute to see him take out his new pencil box and to start arranging his pencils and pens. He seemed very happy.
This was a great experience for my daughter but I can't tell you the joy it brought to me to see a young kid acting upon something that was truly bothersome to her. Blossoming kindness and the willingness to take action are wonderful things to see.
I encourage all the youth of this world to keep your hearts open and never be afraid to show random acts of kindness to those in need. No matter what your friends say. Act upon what's in your heart, you never know it may create a ripple effect for others to do the same!
As for Jake ... I saw him walking home yesterday with his new back pack. It was a good feeling to know we had made a difference in his life!
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