JavaScript is disabled in your web browser or browser is too old to support JavaScript. Today almost all web pages contain JavaScript, a scripting programming language that runs on visitor's web browser. It makes web pages functional for specific purposes and if disabled for some reason, the content or the functionality of the web page can be limited or unavailable.
Vieraskieliset / In-english

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

Vieraskieliset / In-english
16.7.2019 6.08

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 12:22

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.


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

Viikon kysymys