sábado, 2 de enero de 2010

Becoming a man

Out of nowhere a voice said:
"Wow, this is the first full decade I've lived! I feel old."

So, you feel old? How old are you 15 or 16?

"16! In like two years, I am going to become a man... I worry. I dont want to grow up! I worry that I would do something wrong!"
The bell rings. All the children leave the classroom. I feel the urgency to speak to this child in private...Come over here. Why are yo so worry to grow up? Is there anything wrong with you or your family?

"Because, I would have to take care of my parents and my little brother. My dad doesn't have a pension, or anything like that. I know he does not have any money saved. I have to go to college. It"s expensive. And, my mom is disable."

I felt my heart dropped to my knees. He is the older brother. I can relate to the feeling of having to take care of the family. We older children think that it is our responsibility to take care of everyone in the family.

So, where do you want to go to school?

"Queens College and then NYU."

That's great! The best way for you to ensure the future of your family is by going to school.

"I know! but I worry. What about if something happens to me, who is going to take care of them? I am all they have."

2 comentarios:

  1. Boyz to men: isn't that the name of a musical group?

    This story touches me in a personal level.

    Instead of enjoying his most precious years of his tiny existence, this young boy in the path of becoming an adult is worried about the future. Not his, but that of his parents and little brother that he foresees as his responsibility...

    And later in life he then will regret no having lived his life as he should because he unexpectedly had to take care of other people's things in his early years...

    How often our life gets so complicated with stuff that is not ours but we have to face it because there's nobody else who can take or feel responsible for it...

  2. I felt so so sad when I heard him speak in those terms. All children should have the opportunity to enjoy their childhood free of worries about the future. They will have plenty of time to worry once they grow up... But the world we live in today that is a dream too far from reality; too many children grow up to fast, too many are faced with poverty, wars, abuse, lack of opportunities, and so forth.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this with me! This was a very personal story. I love this young boy so much. And his situation breaks my heart! He engenders all that is admirable in a human being: generosity, kindness, intelligence, concern for others, idealism, etc. :-)