It could always be worse – you could be dead at 14.
by, 05-18-2011 at 02:47 PM (306 Views)
Today I had the opportunity to substitute teach at a school that has encountered a recent loss. Two days ago, a 14-year old 8th grader had lost their lifelong battle to muscular dystrophy. On the day of his funeral, it was arranged for the funeral procession to drive by the school for the students to say a final goodbye to their classmate. During the typical lunch and recess hour, everyone in the school took time out of their typical daily routines to line up outside of the school to watch the procession. Since I was a substitute, my responsibility as a teacher was to make sure everyone was standing in a single file line, quiet, and acting responsibly. I do not think there is ever another situation that could arise where a teacher never has to say, “Be quiet”.
To describe in words of the faces I saw as the procession drove by it would do no justice. I do not believe I had ever met the kid personally, but by the sights I saw of those in the procession and the feel of those around me, I nearly shed a few tears myself.
Later in the afternoon, a teacher was going around to each classroom to talk to the 8th grade students. She commented to them on how inspired she was of this student in how he has affected students throughout the entire school. She said that many of the younger students that did not know him for long were devastated by this tragedy because of how he treated them. He was always friendly, always smiling, and never said anything bad to anyone.
Every day many of us complain about something – our pet, a family member, a friend, our job, our finances, the government… the list is endless. What we often forget is that none of those things that we complain about truly matter. After all, it could always be worse – you could have lived your life in a wheelchair and be dead at 14.