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A little understanding

September 14, 2012 - Jennifer Brookens
"I'm not bad, I'm just misunderstood."

Sometimes it is hard to not pass judgment on people. Most of the time, especially as a reporter, I try to see things from their point of view, and at least respect them for that. But there are areas where we are all blind, such as when someone "wrongs" a family member or friend. I know this from earlier this year, when my daughter ended up on the receiving end of some "mean girl" antics.

So when I thought a different "mean girl" was moving into the picture this year, I admit I fought my impulse to ask the teacher, "Can you make sure this one stays away from my girl?" Fortunately, as First Day of School worries go, nothing really happened.

Since then, I had a chance to spend some time in the classroom helping with a class project. The girl in question was there, and I admit she was a little bossy for my tastes but she didn't seem deliberately mean. True, after a few rounds of, "I want," "Get me that..." I became a little hard of hearing, but still tried to help her with the more difficult project tasks.

But the biggest surprise came at the end of the day when the girl came up to me, and gave me a giant hug. Not one of those phony "touch shoulders" type, but a sincere "hold on to me" hug. I couldn't help but return it.

With my adult jadedness, sometimes it's easy to forget these are just kids looking for a little understanding, acceptance and love. I realize my one day there won't make it all better, but it's a little more than what they had before. And sometimes, a little goes a long way...


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