When my niece Therese Megan was ten years old (she is now fourteen) she was and still is, a very popular, kind, and sweet girl. I know we all think our little ones are special but she really is a well - rounded young woman. She's on the Honor roll with a 4.0 average, she excels at sports, and she sings like an angel.
One day at lunch while sitting amongst a large table of her friends, they all started to giggle, and Therese Megan wanted to know what they found so funny. All at once the group at the table started pointing and making fun of a little girl who was sitting all by herself.
Therese Megan tried to explain that it isn't right to make fun of people . The children went on to say, "look at her clothes and her hair, she looks like she doesn't bathe, and she never eats when she comes to lunch."
To the shock of her friends Therese Megan got up and took her lunch tray over to the table where Heidi was sitting and slide her lunch tray in front of her, and stayed chatting with her for the rest of lunch.
When she got home from school, her Mom offered my nieces and nephew a small snack as she usually does when they get in from school. My niece asked her Mom if she could have a sandwich instead. Her mom said "Therese Megan, you know we only have fruit or something light because it's to close to dinner and it will ruin your appetite."
Therese Megan then proceeded to tell her mom about the events that took place during lunch.
My sister-in-law told me that she got so choked up, and gave her daughter a huge hug. She explained to her how proud she was of her; and that it wasn't just the act of giving her lunch up to someone who was hungry, but because she did the right thing regardless of the peer pressure placed on her from her friends.
It took about a week before the usual group of friends decided that they wanted once again to be friends with her, and shockingly, my niece told them that she had decided she no longer wanted to be friends with them.
We all know how school can be. How cruel and judgmental children are towards those that perhaps don't dress like them, or excel at sports.
What my niece proved not only to her parents and her friends, but more importantly to herself; is that no one has the right to judge anyone, she realized that more than likely they were judging her as well, when she wasn't around.
What a wonderful discovery at such a young age. It takes so many of us much longer to learn that life lesson.
Which is exactly what that proved to be for her; because today she has a handful of very close friends, including Heidi and she isn't swayed by the cliques of Junior High and the silent rules that are set in a hidden handbook, and expected to be followed.
It gives me great hope for our future. If the children of today can get back to the children of yesterday,when doing the right thing was more of the norm than the rarity, just maybe, we can get our world back to a place of unity and peace.
I hope we can all apply this lesson to ourselves today, and perhaps say hello to our not so popular co-worker, or not look our nose down at the delivery person who works very hard to support His or Her family. May you all have a Blessed and happy day. Patricia VanDenburg©