Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tell It

I walked into a classroom filled with little children all busily working in groups.

"Welcome!" said the teacher with a smile. "You're here for observation, right? To see if you want the job as a part-time teacher? Well, you can take this group here in the library, read to them, engage in discussion,"

"Sure, thank you," I replied wobbily. I had never, ever worked with children so young - five and six years old. In my path to being a teacher, I had always focused on high school.

But this was the position that was open - Kindergarten. And I was being warmly persuaded to come on board by practically the entire administration staff of Kahakai Elementary.

So I came for observation, to test the waters.

After I braved my way through the sweet session in the library, we formed a line and marched our way through campus to the computer room to take tests. One little girl with black hair in a high ponytail and almond eyes looked up at me and smiled. When I smiled back, she said, "I love you!" and gave me a hug around the legs.

I was speechless. My cynicism was squelched for several rare moments, enough for me to finally respond, "Well, I love you too!"

She smiled at me again and we continued to walk. I asked, "What is your name?"

"Yuki*," she replied.

"My name is Bhakti," I said.

I shook my head in wonder.

Later that day, I reflected on the experience, accompanied by my old buddy again, Cynicism. This little girl had seen me for a grand total of maybe twenty minutes. She hadn't even known my name. Heck, I hadn't even known her name. How could she say that she loves me? What about boundaries, respect, concern, reciprocation, service... She has no idea what love is! And how could I have said that I loved her back??

And then, I realized that maybe this little girl had indeed taught me about love today:



An open heart.

Indeed, life is too short to keep love locked inside a too-careful heart. Yuki, I am conquered, you are my teacher!

(*Pen name used for anonymity) 

To write is to dare the soul. So write.