Awakening a Keen Observer

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday 2

When the Polio vaccine came out and we lined up at my elementary school hallway, then cafeteria, watching those who had already had the injection leave for some sign of the level of pain we were about to encounter, how frightened we were. Frightened not of the shot, but of crying in front of our class. It was seriously something none of us wanted to do.
Why they had us line up together and watch the others get their shots remains a mystery to me even after all these years.

There were two people i remember from this day most clearly. Neither name do i recall.. One was a girl who was larger than most of us and the other a boy who was skinner. She was weeping soft tears because she was afraid of the shot. He looked up at her and said, "Oh don't be frightened. Think of how you'd feel if you had to give them this arm", and he held out his own very thin arm. He smiled at her. She looked at him and then at her own arm and laughed as gently as she cried. He said he just hoped the needle didn't poke out the other side.

A kindness for sure.
A kindness of the purest kind. This was not in expectation of anything in return. This was a kindness of caring and compassion between two young kids. They weren't great friends.

He just saw someone in pain and offered her consolation.
What either of them is doing now I have no idea. I have long lost contact with the others at Oakland Park Elementary School of Columbus Ohio.. But this I do know, how deeply this touched me. How even now I think of that little kindness. We all hope and pray we will be remembered some day for simple kindness toward others in pain.

That is good news
God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey


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