The Truth prevails

I fed my mind with proverbs and psalms in my most impressionable vulnerable years. I did not have someone decipher them for me. I would pour my mind over them, let them soak my heart, and pray them to God. Injustice makes my blood boil. And so I prayed daring prayers even as a kid. I called upon God to bring forth justice sooner rather than later. Not for revenge. But simply for justice. 

The youth quarrels, misunderstandings and gossip, they made me uneasy but I shook them off my weary heart. 

I would not drink from the poisonous words that don’t build up but they destroy. It would be easier to go with the flow and bend the ear to connecting conversation. But they would be short lived. Discerning the truth requires silence and clarity. Not noise.

Boys in social gatherings get into trouble with their roughhousing. They wear their emotions on their sleeves. They push and shove and more often than not, it is all done in good fun. Even when it gets out of control. Emotions are not polished or stuffed. They explode like volcanos and flow like rivers. And they forget just as easily as they got into trouble. And probably they forgive too, just as easily. 

Girls are different. Since kindergarten my eldest has felt the sting of hurtful words from little girl school mates. For that reason she always played better with boys than girls. 

We are fortunate to have had a wise teacher, a leader through and through, who has inspired the kids and set good boundaries of respect. But affinity groups are formed and words are shared and passing judgement is the double edge swords of discernment. Naiveté does not serve well. Innocence can be embraced but one needs to be clever enough to not put themselves in harms way for no good reason. Be clever like snakes and innocent like doves, says the Lord. 

Jackie is quick on her feet and can be quite funny and sarcastic. She brushes things off easily and rises above the drama. But occasionally, she is caught off guard and feels really hurt. Exclusion is painful. But kids form groups and gather according to their preferences and interests. 

As she cleverly quoted the badger in a cartoon, when he was asked what his talent is, he said: “passing judgement”. She feels she identifies with the badger in that way. But we discuss at length about nourishing positive opinions while acknowledging the reality and truth. 

I envy such critical thinking. I’m so inclined to positive thinking that I err on the naive side. As a leader I struggled to see the truth beyond potential. In different circumstances, hope must be tamed by clarity. Otherwise is naiveté. Judging has a negative connotation but being a good judge of character or of circumstances, has also a positive side.

The group of popular girls discussed again, 8 months later, some misguided opinions she unwisely expressed. She felt that one girls shows off her style. But things were blown out of proportions. Back then, when the girl she practically judged without knowing her closer, she confronted Jackie and Jackie owned her mistake. She admitted she said what she said and apologized. Initially she wanted to deny, but I talked to her that if she ever hopes to have an honest friend in that girl, she will need to admit her mistake. That was last school year. Jackie has grown much in wisdom and confidence and self-awareness. Last week, out of the blue, the girl texted her that she is very upset about the hurtful things Jackie said. This is an issue that was solved. Case closed. But the reaction of this friend was as if this was new. Why would the group of friends bring this up and discuss it as new gossip? 

Jackie was in tears. 

It feels powerless to prove the truth. But the truth doesn’t need help. The truth comes to light on its own. 

Sometimes within days, other times it takes months. But those to lay out traps fall in them themselves. 

The gossipers or lie spreaders get caught in the web sooner or later. To quiet one’s heart and mind and feel the freedom of not justifying oneself, but smiling serenely at the storm. 

My prayer is for protection from unnecessary torment. I guess as a kid I prayed for invisibility. And that is why it never bothered me feeling invisible. Visibility brings forth unwanted attention, judgement and harassment. 

May our kids learn to navigate the ever complicating social life. May they be peace makers and truth tellers. May they learn to be good friends and not pass judgment to the immature ears. 

May our kids learn to be good friends. And have good friends in every stage of life.