Friday, April 21, 2006

It took the breaking of my heart for me to appreciate “Let It Be.” Sang by The Beatles, “Let It Be” carries a spiritual message that believers and non-believers alike can’t help but embrace. “Let it be” — a three-word sentence that carries so much wisdom.

Speaking of words of wisdom, today I found myself in the right place at the right time. A fifth grade student at the school where I work had his scooter confiscated by an after-school coach because she had seen it being used on campus. The child was playing soccer with me, and he was so focused in the game that he didn’t become aware of what was taking place. As the coach walked away with his scooter, I called him and advised him to catch up to her and calmly let her know that the scooter had been used by other students without his consent. So he did.

A couple of minutes later, I turned my attention away from the soccer game to see if the student had been successful. I caught him walking toward the water fountain — no scooter with him. He didn’t seem upset, so I continued playing soccer. I assumed they had come to a mutual agreement. A bit later, I looked for the child again, and this time he was sitting on a bench next to the water fountain. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s seeing a good child upset. I walked over to him and sat down. I asked him how it all turned out. He said that he had done as I told him, and the coach’s response was, “Doesn’t matter.”

Another person in my place would have considered approaching the coach, and in the presence of the child explain why he should have his scooter back. The after-school coach and I are not fond of each other, but that did not keep me from realizing that going the route described above would have put her in a tough situation because it would seem that I’m undermining her judgment and authority. Instead, I told him to forget about the scooter and continue playing soccer. Before giving him a chance to get up, I added that he would get his scooter no matter what — it would only be a matter of time. I concluded by assuring him that if by after-school Monday he still didn’t have his scooter, I would ask my boss for help. That did the trick. The child got up and played with joy.

When it was almost time for me to come home, I advised him once more. This time I told him to make sure to approach the coach before going home today and kindly ask, “When may I pick up my scooter?”

A few minutes later, prepared to come home and rest, I looked for my wallet and my keys, and to my shock and dismay, only my wallet remained. I asked the nearby students if they saw anyone taking my keys. Only one student actually cared to go beyond answering “no.” He looked over the spot where I usually keep my belongings and walked around with his eyes fixed on the ground, as if looking for something that was actually his. For that brief moment, neither soccer nor his scooter seemed of any importance to him. I was grateful and honored to see that the child was returning to me the amount of attention I had given him minutes before.

I left the playground to ask the coordinator of the after-school staff if anyone had brought my keys to her. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see those keys again, so when I was asked by a child if I had lost my keys, I tried not to get excited. He told me some keys had been found and given to the coordinator. It was not until I held the keys that I felt complete relief. I thanked her and walked away.

In order to get to my car, I had to walk across the playground. From afar I caught my little friend about to exit the school. After it was all said and done, I felt great to know that we would both be getting home the same way we had arrived to school… me in my car, and David on his scooter.

Anyway…. sorry for having gone a bit off-topic. 🙂 Here’s my Spanish translation of “Let It Be”…


Mi fe en la Virgen Maria me ha sacado adelante en tiempos dificiles. Cuando me encuentro rodeado de la oscuridad, ella se para enfrente de mí para hacerme saber que puedo contar con su bendición. Gracias a ella, aún en las noches más nublosas una luz me alumbra hasta el amanecer. Al despertar, amanezco escuchando su melodiosa voz recitando palabras muy sabias… “No te mortifiques.”

Convencido estoy que cuando aquellos que padecen males depositen en ella la fe que he depositado yo, sus problemas desaparecerán, pues tal y como ella me lo ha aconsejado a mí, habrán dejado al mundo rodar.

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