Life’s not always roses

SOME YEARS AGO, I was asked to help a kid tell his story.

I met him and his mom.

We talked for a while on a wooden bench in a breezeway by the front door of his school.

It didn’t take long for me to realize he was wise beyond his years.

Wisdom served him well, because he had to adjust to adolescence and deal with something far from most adolescent minds.

The wise kid, who liked games, cars and things a lot of young boys do, watched his hair fall out.

It came out in clumps, and left round bald spots on his head.

Doctors diagnosed him with Alopecia, for which there is no cure.

Alopecia, however, was only part of the reason he wanted to tell his story.

The wise kid wanted to teach people why it’s so important to be kind.

Apparently, some people weren’t so kind to him.

Middle-school hallways can be tough places.

They must be really tough when you lose patches of your hair before you get your learner’s permit.

I was asked to help put his story on paper in the hope if people understood why he’d lost some of his hair, they’d be more kind about it.

I didn’t think a good dose of kindness was too much for him to ask, nor was it too much to hope people might read his story and better understand what it was like to take a few steps in his shoes.

While we talked, he told me he made up a song to sum up the point he wanted to get across.

It’s a simple song, but it’s powerful.

Since he sang it to me, I’ve never forgotten it.

It’s helped me remember to try to be kind, because life’s not always roses for other people either.

“Empathy, empathy
Put yourself in the place of me.”

I told you he was a wise kid.


This post is a response to Sue’s prompt, which is, “kindness.”

1 Comment

  1. Casey; Absolutely so heart breaking and true. In my many years as a military leader, pastor and prison chaplain I have seen so many cases where a little act of kindness would have gone a long way. God help all of us to practice it. Thanks for this post.

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