Posts Tagged ‘Olive Twist’

I was once asked to say a few words to a high school classroom for troubled teenagers.  I was caught completely unprepared, but I knew exactly what I wanted to say in that short window of time. I was not accustomed to speaking, but I had watched the problems in this class and listened to students, and I perceived the situation pretty clearly.  Some of the students had parents that never cared about their studies or paid them any attention unless they got suspended or went to jail.

So I improvised and made myself vulnerable for their sakes.  I told this group that I came from a painfully difficult background, abandoned by both parents and tossed around to foster homes and orphanages. Some things that were done to me were unthinkable. I told them that after being mistreated for years, I had so much anger in my heart towards the world that I wanted to lash out at everyone in authority.  I became wild and rebellious and lived in the gutters for several years as a teenager.

But one day, the light came on in my head and I knew that I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself.  None of the people who did these things to me cared to begin with, so why should they care now?  I had to make them care, and there was only one way to do that.  I could make something of myself and defeat them for once and for all.

I explained that I am sure many people have terrible stuff going on in their homes. “But why destroy your own life trying to get even or get someone’s attention?” I asked. The best way to get their attention and sweet revenge at the same time is to make something of your life and become better than those who wounded you.

After I had finished speaking, a coach who was sitting in on the class that day stood up and said tearfully.  “Boys and girls, you’ve heard many things in this class over the years, but what you have heard today is more precious than gold and I hope that you take hold of it.”

This is the reason that I have written my own story.  I didn’t write it to seek revenge or hurt someone or invoke pity, or even to get some things off my chest (although that was a nice fringe benefit).  I wrote it to help someone who is in the wilderness of their own life, looking for a pathway out.

I only hope that my story will “fall into the right hands”.

Peace & Grace,

Olive Twist

~♥~

Children sleeping in Mulberry Street (1890) Art.

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