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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Do they just think one gets used to it?

Päivämies-verkkolehti
Vieraskieliset / In-english
16.7.2019 6.08

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 12:22
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Again she wants to hear that same song. I choo­se it on the pla­yer, cho­king back my te­ars. I can­not sing along, af­raid that my voi­ce will break and show them all I am about to cry. I keep my ey­es on the road and grasp the stee­ring wheel tight­ly, to pre­vent my te­ars from flo­wing. I al­most hate that be­au­ti­ful song, be­cau­se I hate this si­tu­a­ti­on, my help­les­s­ness and the des­pe­ra­ti­on I feel when my child al­wa­ys wants to hear this song. And yet it is good to know that, by again choo­sing it, she wants to tell me how she is fee­ling.

Whe­ne­ver I need to drive a lon­ger dis­tan­ce, I like to ar­ran­ge a re­qu­est prog­ram for the kids in the ride. My phone is con­nec­ted to the car ra­dio, and each child in turn can re­qu­est a song from the Yo­u­Tu­be pla­y­list. We start from simp­le child­ren’s songs and move on to more sop­his­ti­ca­ted mu­sic. And this dear teen of mine again and again wants to hear the be­au­ti­ful, clear yo­ung wo­man’s voi­ce sing a song cal­led It hurts.

It is a song about a lo­ne­ly child who is bul­lied and mar­gi­na­li­zed at school. It is a touc­hing song, at le­ast to those who have had si­mi­lar ex­pe­rien­ces eit­her per­so­nal­ly or through their child. I have mi­xed fee­lings whe­ne­ver this song or any song about friends­hip is sung with gus­to by a group. I won­der if any of the sin­gers get even the ti­niest glimp­se of how they them­sel­ves or one of their friends might be cau­sing pain and suf­fe­ring to anot­her per­son. That they might be exc­lu­ding this per­son from their group. I have ho­ped that each school would choo­se to play that song for mor­ning as­semb­ly at le­ast on­ce. It could be pre­ce­ded by a brief int­ro­duc­ti­on by an adult: dear yo­ung pe­op­le, lis­ten ca­re­ful­ly to what is said in this song.

Do you find yo­ur­self in this song, or do you know so­me­o­ne who might be in it? Could you do anyt­hing to chan­ge the si­tu­a­ti­on? And what is most im­por­tant, would you like to make a chan­ge if you could?

That fall I went back to school again/and I al­wa­ys went alo­ne./I wan­ted to be like the ot­hers/who wal­ked hand in hand./I saw their hap­py fa­ces/while I stood alo­ne by the wall./I wan­ted to share this with so­me­o­ne,/I did not want to be alo­ne.*

Nor would I want it, my child. There is not­hing I have pra­yed for more fer­vent­ly than I have pra­yed for you to have a be­lie­ving friend. For ye­ars I have been sha­ring my con­cern with the mot­hers of yo­ur age ma­tes, crying and trying to find ways to make you less lo­ne­ly. I have of­ten felt that the ot­hers have un­ders­tood me, but that un­ders­tan­ding has not been enough in our case. For­tu­na­te­ly, I have al­so found pe­op­le who have ge­nui­ne­ly wan­ted to help in conc­re­te ways and have even ac­comp­lis­hed so­met­hing.

While stan­ding in line for com­mu­ni­on at the Sum­mer Ser­vi­ces last ye­ar, I did my best to hold back my te­ars. We were there, I my­self, my hus­band and this child ours, who came to com­mu­ni­on with us. This dear child had no-one el­se to go to com­mu­ni­on with – she had her sib­lings, of cour­se, but she had pre­fer­red us for com­pa­ny. I felt des­pe­ra­te and fu­ri­ous. Things should not go like this. Yo­ung pe­op­le should go with ot­her yo­ung pe­op­le, en­joy the Sum­mer Ser­vi­ces to­get­her, sit in a ring on the grass and eat ice-cream, stay up too late. They should make me­mo­ries of what the fel­lows­hip of yo­ung be­lie­vers can be at its best. To ex­pe­rien­ce the joy of be­lie­ving, of being part of a group, of fee­ling so good about it all. Not to have time to sleep, and de­fi­ni­te­ly not to spend time with their an­cient pa­rents.

I cried up to God, as­king that if He he­ars me, could He at le­ast give me a small sign. I was fee­ling so des­pe­ra­te to be al­wa­ys as­king for the same thing. I was be­gin­ning to won­der if God even ca­red.

He he­ard. He gave me a sign right then and there. He al­lo­wed so­met­hing to hap­pen that had ne­ver hap­pe­ned be­fo­re. He gave us you, dear lo­ve­ly yo­ung per­son, who re­cog­ni­zed our daugh­ter, came up and hug­ged her. Just like that. We both on­ly knew you by name, and still you hug­ged my child! If I could have done it then, I would have run af­ter you. I would have told you that you did so­met­hing so im­por­tant that you can ne­ver un­ders­tand it. I hope you will read this text. I want to tell you that you are a tre­a­su­re. Pe­op­le like you are nee­ded so bad­ly. And I would still give you a small pie­ce of ad­vi­ce: the next time you are an an­gel to so­me­o­ne in a si­mi­lar si­tu­a­ti­on, take hold of her hand and ask her to come along. Ask her to join you and yo­ur friends. Those words would be the best gift you can give to a lo­ne­ly per­son.

While tal­king about this mat­ter, I have found that many mot­hers are fee­ling si­mi­lar­ly about their own child­ren. The Sum­mer Ser­vi­ces and ot­her events may seem frust­ra­ting or down­right frigh­te­ning. The im­por­tan­ce of be­lie­ving friends is es­pe­ci­al­ly ob­vi­ous in such big events. It is lo­ve­ly to have friends that you can greet and vi­sit. It is ter­rib­le to be qui­te alo­ne among thou­sands of pe­op­le. You can see many per­sons, but you are in­vi­sib­le to them all.

To be in­vi­sib­le all through yo­ur school ye­ars. Those un­be­lie­vab­ly long ye­ars. To go through school and col­le­ge, and pos­sib­ly even wor­king life, wit­hout any­bo­dy to dis­cuss with and share yo­ur free time. To do by yo­ur­self all group pro­jects and pre­sen­ta­ti­ons, to spend all days wit­hout a word from the ot­hers. To overs­leep and not have any­bo­dy’s phone num­ber, so you could ask about the next class.

Does any­bo­dy want to be in­vi­sib­le? Anyw­he­re el­se ex­cept at home?

I would love to have a dear friend,/there is not­hing I hope for more./This is dai­ly life for far too many./I stay awa­ke and cry about to­mor­row.*

The He­a­ven­ly Fat­her first gave us five girls in a row. I know why. He gave them for this lo­ve­ly girl of mine. In each ot­her these girls have li­fe­long friends. That is so good! And I am so very hap­py that my child­ren, es­pe­ci­al­ly the big sis­ters, feel their sis­ter to be so im­por­tant that they ask her to come along. I am so hap­py about it.

Yet, I would not like to al­wa­ys tell one of my child­ren to go along with her sis­ters. Nor would I like to re­mind the ol­der ones to take the ot­hers in­to ac­count. But still I do. I sus­pect my tombs­to­ne will have two insc­rip­ti­ons: ”We won’t need a doc­tor for this.” and ”Re­mem­ber to ask eve­ry­bo­dy to come along.” I am sure my child­ren do not al­wa­ys like it when I tell them, at ser­vi­ces and whe­re­ver we hap­pen to be, to go and talk to the one who is sit­ting alo­ne. But ne­ver has any­bo­dy who has been sit­ting alo­ne re­fu­sed to come if so­me­o­ne has as­ked him or her to come and sit with them. My child would not re­fu­se eit­her.

Why am I wri­ting about this now? I had a blog post writ­ten and re­a­dy to be sub­mit­ted, and I am al­re­a­dy past my de­ad­li­ne. And I do not know if my child al­lows me to pub­lish this. I must ask her as soon as I have comp­le­ted the text. If you are re­a­ding this, you will know she told me to go ahe­ad.

I write about this be­cau­se I fear for the fu­tu­re of my child and all the lo­ne­ly teens and yo­ung adults. Eve­ry­bo­dy needs at le­ast one friend. The mot­her can ne­ver fill that slot in her child’s life. I know how ext­re­me­ly im­por­tant it is for eve­ry yo­ung per­son to have friends who help them over the hard spots in life. Who share with them all the lo­ve­ly things that be­long to yo­ung pe­op­le’s li­ves – slee­po­vers, shop­ping trips, bon­fi­re nights, ca­bin wee­kends, crazy ri­des and to­get­her­ness. If there is no-one, there is no joy in life. And it may be­co­me very dif­fi­cult to be­lie­ve.

This is why I am wri­ting. Be­cau­se my child is so dear to me. And I know eve­ry lo­ne­ly child is dear and im­por­tant to his or her pa­rents. I hope my child’s on­ly so­lu­ti­on will not be to find an un­be­lie­ving friend. There may be lo­ve­ly pe­op­le in the world who find my child worth friends­hip, but who still can­not of­fer the best thing that be­lie­vers of­fer.

Speak to yo­ur child­ren. Speak and make them open their ey­es. Te­ach them to see the in­vi­sib­le one in the crowd. To ap­p­ro­ach the kids who al­wa­ys sit with their pa­rents and ask them to join the ot­her kids. We can­not for­ce any­bo­dy to be friends with so­me­o­ne, but we can speak to our child­ren and ask them to give eve­ry­bo­dy a chan­ce. Or ma­y­be more than one chan­ce, for the lo­ne­ly one may not be ab­le to take a full role right away but may need to le­arn gra­du­al­ly to trust ot­her pe­op­le.

Tell yo­ur child­ren that friends­hip is like love – it on­ly grows when you share it. None of us will lose anyt­hing if we inc­lu­de one more per­son in our group. We do not know what a great tre­a­su­re we may find in a per­son we have ear­lier pas­sed by. When we give friends­hip as a gift, we our­sel­ves get a gift. Let us to­le­ra­te dif­fe­ren­ces and te­ach our child­ren to do the same. We as pa­rents are al­so dif­fe­rent, but I per­so­nal­ly find the dif­fe­ren­ces bet­ween my own friends and ac­qu­ain­tan­ces to be such a rich tre­a­su­re that I would ne­ver want to give it up. I would not want my­self to be my friend. I want to have my dear, lo­ve­ly friends with whom I can laugh and cry and be my real self. I do not need to ask if they ac­cept me. I know they want to be with me.

If I had the po­wer to de­ci­de, I would ar­ran­ge a spe­ci­al mee­ting at the Sum­mer Ser­vi­ces. Eve­ry day I would put up a sign sa­ying ”I would like some good com­pa­ny”, and I would in­vi­te all yo­ung and ol­der pe­op­le who long for a friend to at­tend that mee­ting. I am sure there would be pe­op­le with good che­mist­ry, if on­ly so­me­o­ne would gent­ly nud­ge them to come out of their tents or cam­pers and meet these ot­hers. They would pro­bab­ly mar­vel at all the nice pe­op­le of their age they had ne­ver no­ti­ced be­fo­re, won­de­ring if those pe­op­le would even like to go with them for a walk? Would they dare to ask?

*Lau­lun­te­ki­jät­rio Cuu­las

Text: Satu Luok­ka­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal fin­nish blog post here.

28.5.2020

Kun To­tuu­den Hen­ki tu­lee, hän joh­taa tei­dät tun­te­maan koko to­tuu­den. Joh. 16:13

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