Things are pretty tough at the moment. But, amongst the bad, there is good. And whilst this does not in any way make up for the bad….. I do recognise and I am thankful for the good.
Three things that have occurred in the last 2 weeks, that required my empathy to happen.
Good thing No 1.
A new student at my 14 year olds school, was being racially abused. He is Muslim. My son saw this happen and asked the student if he wanted to hang out with my sons group of friends. When he came home and told me about this, he expressed his concern for the student and how terrible it was that he was being bullied and abused. So, my son stepped up and now the student has a group of friends, who have accepted him and treat him with the same dignity and respect as other students.
This meant more to me, than any academic or sporting achievements. This is about my sons character and personality. His empathy and compassion. His capacity to be a decent human being and step up for others who are vulnerable and being treated badly. I was tearful about this. Because, it shows my empathy in my parenting and what I model and speak about, has this effect on my teenage son. All the conversations I have had about empathy, and about bullying, about racism and how wrong they are, have led to my son acting in a truly compassionate way – that many adults can’t even manage. And this matters. What my son chose to do – matters.
And the deeper issue I am also aware of, is Muslim teenagers who are treated badly by non Muslims, are far more at risk of being groomed by murderous psychopath terrorists, for radicalisation. Hopefully, this would never be an issue to this student at my sons school. But, in being accepted and treated well – by non Muslim people….means any risk of radicalisation, is reduced.
Good thing No 2.
At my ladies group, a woman confided in us, about having PTSD, due to being very ill a few years ago, and the poor treatment she received. This resulted in a decline in her mental health, with severe depression, suicide attempts, and resulted in PTSD. She was sat next to me, when speaking about this. I was able to validate her trauma, her suicidal state and the effects of PTSD, without actually saying I have endured this too. I was so glad she felt able to share this, and that the group is safe enough for women to share.
Another lady became upset sharing about her marriage breakdown and stress at not having a job to care for her children. She was obviously distressed Continue reading