Sunday, November 30, 2014

Let's Put Our Feet in Other People's Shoes


In the cold morning when the sun seemed so lazy to shine, I put lasagna on three plates.  Vigorously   I gave them to my three kids.

The  conversation at the breakfast table was marred  by Anin's sullen face.

“ Uh...I’m so lazy going to school.” Anin said as she chomp a small piece of lasagna. The 10th grader senior high girl looked so resentful.

Anin's statement directly affected her younger sister, Dea.

"Yes, yes .. I want today like yesterday, to be holiday ." Said the 7th grade junior high girl  with  murky face.

The youngest Rafif  also agreed with his  older sister’s idea.

“I also don’t want to go to school !” He exclaimed.

"Now let's play the game. The trick is easy. Let us imagine!" With a look of calm I responded to my children's babble. I took a small gulp  of my  warm green tea before continuing to speak.

"Just Imagine. Anin, Dea,and Rafif are standing on the roadside. You wear dirty, shabby, and worn clothes. Your body are so smelly,  long time not being cleansed by water and soap. Your hands clasp rotten gunny sack full of junk that are taken from the trash bin. You are starving, so hungry until you feel your stomach are smarting. You are shaking, and your body  release cold sweat. Walking barefoot, your feet are covered by  dirt.  Your calves are sore, and your bodies are so tired."



My three kids were gawk. Surely they got confused to guess what I meant.

I glanced into their blank faces, and continued the conversation.

"Over there,  you see  kids in  school uniform. They are wearing  primary, junior , and senior high school uniform.  Their clothes are clean and tidy. Their faces are bright and  energetic. Their bellies are  full, they have already had  lasagna for breakfast. It was delicious lasagna made by their lovely mother. Each of them is carrying a backpack full of textbooks. They  are stepping with pride  towards the school building. "

 I paused for a second to let  the imagination played in their minds.

"Well, how do you feel, kids? How do you  feel staring at those children who are  so cheerful? Do you feel  a strong desire to go to school, don't you?

  "Disperse! Disperse!" Exclaimed Anin as she stepped away from the table.

"Come on!" Dea said. She followed  her oldest sister. 

"Hey  .. where are you going ??" My eyes followed the two girls who rushed upstairs.

"Taking a bath, of course!" Anin said.

"Yes, why should you ask, Mom? I'm afraid of being late for school!" Dea-pitched voice sounded annoyed.

"Ooo ..." A smile spread across my face . My fingers pinched  Rafif's cubby cheeks with affection. He  munched his  last lasagna piece, then  ran to the bathroom.

Sometimes we need to see the world from other person's perspective. Sometimes we should put our feet in other people's shoes, so that we realize how lucky  we are.



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