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|Students need giant within awakened|
When I was 19 years old and a student at Northeast, or ULM, I drove a city school bus with a route in the Sherrouse Elementary school zone. My route ran from the then College Avenue over to Filhiol Avenue. One particular afternoon my bus was parked at the end of the sidewalk where the students lined up to catch their busses.
What I experienced for the next 15 minutes broke my heart. I saw him standing there waiting in line for his bus. He held his school pictures very tightly against his chest. He saw all the other children sharing their pictures with their classmates. Then I saw him take a quick look at his pictures and he hurriedly covered them up against his chest. I sensed that he did not want anyone to see them. I could tell by his actions that he thought that he was ugly. There was such a sad look in his eyes. His mental ambiance was saying silently, "I am ugly. I wished that I looked good like the other kids. "
He was a nice looking little boy, but somewhere along the journey of his young life, someone had planted seeds of negativity that made him feel otherwise. Maybe he had been continuously belittled growing up.
I was going to get out of my driver's seat to go out and put my arms around him. I wanted to tell him how nice his school pictures looked. The bell rang and my sincere motives were cancelled by time. The little boy had already boarded his bus. I was unable to complete my mission.
My heart was hurting from this scene that I had witnessed. What I had observed jerked on my heart strings. As I returned to my driver's seat, I quickly pulled out my pen to write down the thoughts that were weighing heavily on my mind. The occurrence had made such an impact on me that words poured out in a poetic stream of consciousness.
These are the words to the poem "The Dear Little One" that were a part of the river of tears that flowed from my eyes:
"To look down upon a child/ To see sadness and sorrow within his eyes/ To see a broken heart within a dear little one/ To see an expression of pain because he thinks he's something he's not / Not one bit of happiness can pass through my soul / Until I can see a smile across his face/ Because he knows that someone else knows that he's not what he thinks he is."
This experience was a poignant emotional moment that engraved a permanent mental scene that can be recalled in an instant. I have often wondered how this little guy grew up. Did he meet his dream maker?
I have always heard that pain and suffering are good teachers. I should be a genius by now. I don't know if becoming a very emotional person comes with age, or am I just an old softy? I cannot watch a television show with scenes of suffering. The tears just start spilling over and running down my cheeks. It is hard to hide the tears, especially when they look like two water falls cascading down the side of a mountain.
I saw this child in many of the students that I taught. In fact, a large portion of my methods in teaching aimed to make sure that students who suffered from a low self esteem had their giant within awakened. When this dormant force was stirred, the power of the giant was energized and an inner voice could be heard: "I am somebody." And a dream was born.
Robert Charles Payne is an inspirational writer who lives in West Monroe. He can be contacted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.