I went to work today not in my best mood. I was sleep-deprived, tense and uninspired. The moment I entered the classroom, I was already counting down the seconds that seemed to take forever.
In my afternoon class, I have a student name Jairus. His mom got pregnant with him at a very young age, and his dad ran off when he found out about the pregnancy. He knows he doesn’t have a dad but at a young age he has already come to terms with it. He usually gets picked up an hour or two after all the other kids leave, but I’ve never heard him complain. He’s also one of the most carefree kids I’ve ever met, so it only seemed right to seek his advice.
Earlier today, while the kids were taking a break from their worksheets and activities, I sat beside him and said, “Jairus, I’m feeling a bit sad today. What advice can you give me?”
He has this thoughtful look for a moment before telling me, “Never give up.”
Before I could respond, he goes on to say, “Sometimes, I can’t find my way but I never give up.”
At this point, I was already mesmerized by what he said. And I was so sure that we were having one of those coming-of-age movie moments wherein the kid and the adult would share this deep and meaningful conversation, revealing how the kid knew all along the inner turmoil hidden within the depths of the adult soul.
And so I ask, “You can’t find your way to where?”
I’m not sure what kind of answer I was expecting, probably along the lines of ‘happiness’ or ‘inner peace’. But instead, he shrugs and says, “My friend’s house.”
That made my heart smile. It wasn’t the thought-provoking answer I anticipated, but it’s the kind of answer that made me realize how wise children can be without them even knowing it, and how the simplest answers to the most trivial problems can still save you during the most difficult times.
Of course, after that, he goes on and on, listing down the names of his friends and the games they play, and how his mom took him to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 in the theaters and how awesome it was.
It’s a good day after all.