Change the Situation

There is a story that my mom has told me about my brother.  He was in either kindergarten or first grade and he had problems at school.  He would come home upset.  He didn’t want to talk about it.

His complaints were not about the other students.  The issues seemed to stem from the teacher.  My mom talked to the school.  But there continued to be problems.   My brother had been under the care of a doctor for being hyper-active at that time in life already.   Not knowing what to do next, my mom talked to the doctor.  After some discussion, the doctor suggested that my brother change classrooms.  His reasoning went something like this – sometimes people just don’t match up.  It’d be like trying to force a bad marriage.  When two people just don’t get along, it is best for them to be apart.

Upon the doctor’s recommendation, my brother did change classrooms.  And he did 100% better in this new classroom.

Hey, this happens for adults too.  I think we can all admit that.  Just recently for me, I had a person who I considered a friend.  I trusted her.  And she just never seemed comfortable with me.  Even as an adult, I spent a bit of time thinking that her discomfort was my fault.  She didn’t seem to do well when I was openly honest (as I am probably a little too bluntly at times).  I put in extra effort to try to reassure her that her and I were ok.  But somehow that is not what she picked up from me.  After questioning my character, declaring that I couldn’t understand family time or church, attempting to dissect my business practices, and outright lying to me; it was declared that she had never had that much friction with another friend.  We obviously were not meant to be friends.

Could we have made it work?  Possibly.  Was it worth it?  No.  I see that now.  I feel now like I kept trying to make something work that just wasn’t meant to work.  Maybe she really is a good person?  Maybe I am too?  Maybe we are just two people who were not meant to be around each other.

I can’t speak for her.  But I can see all this now.  I couldn’t see it a few months ago.  I wish her no ill-will.  I hope she goes on to live a happy life.  And why can’t this be the conclusion in life with other things?  With some moments of reflecting tonight, I’m wondering why, when an institution gets involved; does it have to be either all one way or all another way?

To have the belief that a person could legislate or make a procedure that would be all-encompassing for every person is ridiculous.  Yet, that is reality too much.  A child must need help because they don’t “fit in”.  But what if they weren’t meant to “fit in”?  I can tell you right now that I never “fit in” in school.  I don’t “fit in” all the time in adult life either.  The difference is that now I know that is ok.  As a kid, I didn’t know that.

Tonight I am thankful for the chance to tell our children – yours and mine – that not everyone is going to fit inside a pre-drawn box.  I’m thankful for the chance to tell them that sometimes situations and every day relationships just don’t work out – and that isn’t necessarily their fault.  I’m thankful for the chance to tell them that sometimes they try their best; and sometimes they learn to admit when things aren’t meant to happen.  That is important.  It truly is.  Because when you can admit that something isn’t working . . if you can’t make a situation work (because truly, any situation with another person would take both people); when that is the conclusion, you can change the situation.