My son’s first week in his new school was really hard. New country. New city. New school routine. And only one friend with whom he never saw in the halls. No one came up to him to say hello and meet him. They just looked at him and asked if he was a “hold back” from high school and silly things like that. He’s tall and big for his age and a presence to be reckoned with and instantly made the football team.
He spent that first week learning a whole new schedule and education system. He ate lunch alone. Sat in his class alone. Walked around at recess alone. It was really tough on him. His father passed from cancer last year and we moved closer to home. The transition wasn’t easy, but it was needed.
He came home tonight with a story to tell. He’d met a new boy in school today. He said he went up to him and introduced himself. He welcomed him. He introduced him to his hard-won friends. Showed him around a bit. He was happy he’d made a new friend and that’s where his mind was.
That’s where I stopped him in his tracks. I asked him- “What made you go over to speak to him?” He replied, “He seemed like a nice kid and I wanted to say hi and he was standing all alone. He and I talked and laughed for a long time.” Again, I asked him why. And he looked at me and said~ “I’m treating him the way I wish I was treated when I was a new student here.” And I asked him, “If you had been treated by someone the way your are treating this new kid, how would you feel about them now?” He said, “He would be a great friend to me.” So, Jackson now has a friend to add to his circle. One who is grateful and will hopefully remember how he was treated and thus do the same for someone else one day. And that my friends is the Ripple Effect.
I honor my amazing son today with this journal. He took a difficult situation that he was in and looked out at others and instead of treating them the same- he learned and practiced The Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do not as they have done, but do how you would have wanted it to be done. He broke the ripple of negativity through his own painful experience and created a new experience not only for someone else- but also for himself because now he knows a great way to meet new friends. Humanity could learn a lot from this young man.
One proud mama!