Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Mud Frogs: Beginning to See One Another
"It was wonderful to see, wonderful to be in the middle of: we mud frogs awakening all around. We were awash in tiny attentions. Small gestures, words, empathies thought to be extinct came to life. For years the strangers among us had passed sullenly in the hallways; now we looked, we nodded, we smiled. If someone got an A, others celebrated, too. If someone sprained an ankle, others felt the pain. We discovered the color of each other's eyes." (excerpt from Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli)
I have mentioned that I recently read a sweet little book, one that really spoke to my soul. I learned so much from those few pages that it may take awhile for me to process everything I learned.
One of those lessons is about awakening mud frogs. How long have we been imprisoned by self-imposed mud, waiting for someone to come along and free us from our dreary little self-centered lives? Or perhaps might we recognize our own potential for lifting others from the quagmire?
Which will we be, the mud frog or the rain? Will our smiles, our kindnesses, our affection, our love come as refreshing rain upon one who might be struggling? There are so many opportunities to brighten one's day; are we taking them? Simple gestures can have far-reaching effects; are we making them?
I want to be like Stargirl. I want to make someone's day a little better, a little brighter, and I hope it doesn't come as too much of a surprise. Therein lies the challenge, really. Is our society so entrenched in the muck and mud that a burst of refreshing kindness is so startling and unusual that we don't know how to respond? Is forgiveness questioned? Is selflessness doubted?
May we begin in the simplest way then. Let us take note of the color of each other's eyes.