Not Drastic, But Significant

I stumbled onto this analogy wrote in 2002. Its simple, and I think still illustrates its point well.

Once there was a revolution. It wasn’t a drastic one, but it was a significant one.

It started one day when a young woman was walking down the street, pulling a small cart behind her to the market. She came upon a man sitting on a curb, holding his head in his hands. Instead of hustling past him, she stopped and talked with him.

While she was talking to him a little boy rode by on his bicycle. The little boy rode past the two and their conversation again and again. Then he stopped and stood still on his bike, openly eavesdropping. For a moment he was mesmerized, frozen in place.

Suddenly his eyes followed from the girl and the man toward a car’s tire rolling by beside them. s if in slow motion the boy saw a squirrel dart underneath the tire, and as it was run over the boy winced painfully. He quickly set his bicycle down by the side of the road, and without looking up or down the street he hustled to the squirrel’s lifeless body.

The boy scooped up the carcass with big-mittened hands. The mittens, far too big for the boy, looked like a pillow under the squirrel. The young woman and the man walked over to the boy, and without prompting the boy set the dead squirrel into her basket. When another car came rushing upon the three, the man began waving the driver aside.

The three walked slowly without talking, heading to a park across the street. Again, without prompting, the man pulled a small spade from a his knapsack he had with him. Holding trembling hands out the girl took the spade and dug a small hole. After a few moments the boy set the squirrel inside.

When they were finished, the boy whispered an alms, the young woman a prayer, and the man a secret poem. As they were walking away the boy handed his too-big mittens to the man. Then he got on his bike, cranked the wheels, and rolled away. The girl dusted out her cart, set it on the sidewalk, and pulled it down the road. The man got into his car and slowly pulled away.

It wasn’t a drastic revolution that day, but a significant one.

Published by Adam F.C. Fletcher

I'm a speaker, writer, trainer, researcher and advocate who researches, writes and shares about education, youth, and history.

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