Tuesday, January 02, 2007

(pt. 2)

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone. -- Bill Cosby

When Bill made this quote I didn’t understand it until I found myself so wrapped up into everybody’s situation that I begin to lose sight of myself and my dreams. Now I understand it. You see you can’t please people all the time. No matter what you do, for some it may be enough but for most, it isn’t. So what happens is this: people keep coming back for more and if you keep trying to help you are giving yourself to someone else’s dream while allowing yours to fall apart. So now that I know better I can do better for myself.

The other thing is that no matter how small a child is they have a memory like an elephant and when they are hurt, they remember that pain. They remember it so much that it can affect their future. My nephew shared that he heard the negative words being said about him when he was 3 & 4. His mother did not raise him. My mother did. My sister was experimenting with drugs when he was a baby. She has been clean 10 years, but he said he remembers folks calling him a crack baby. “He gon’ be like his momma."

He grew up very angry but he kept it inside. So the honor roll student from elementary to 8th grade, beginning to fail in 9th grade. I intervened but he would get all these A’s and B’s and when I took a step back his grades dropped again to D’s and F’s. Finally he started skipping school. We did everything, counseling, talking to teachers and principles, the pastor, males in our family stepped to the plate but he just don’t seem to want anything. This bothered me and affected me. Heck, I help everybody’s family members and have enrolled other teens back into school, and given out all kinds of services and resources to get people back on track. Not being able to help my own nephew really affected me. I let it wear me down.

Did folks say he was a crack baby? Yes but he was around two or three and he was going through what I think was bulimia. He would eat so much and sneak food and then violently throw up because he had eaten so much. I recall my sisters and me and maybe even my mom wondering out loud if that was the effect of drugs. We took him to the doctor and they even said the same thing. That if she was using drugs while carrying him we would never know the effects.

Though he is not into anything negative, he is not in school. He said he is going to get his GED next month. But it’s up to him. He will turn 17 on my birthday, Jan. 13. He’s old enough to understand that without education, he is going to struggle.

So that saying- sticking and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me. It is a rhyme that as children we sang but it is not true- words hurt and can damage little souls….

So my lesson- If you don't have anything positive to say about a person-"SHUT


Michelle said...

Sadly, we do forget that words have power. They can both build up and tear down for both young and old alike. It's so interesting that he remembers those words from age 3-4. People think kids aren't listening or processing what's going on around them, but they are more aware than we often think. Best wishes to your nephew. I hope he gets back on track. With such a loving aunt looking out for him, I'm sure he will.

Michelle said...

BTW -- I think I may be seeing you in St. Louie on Jan. 20th at the Literary Extravaganza!

Nancy said...

Excellent reminder. :) It's especially good for me because we talk a lot about Erik's syndrome openly. However, he is getting old enough that we need to keep a lot of the deeper, more technical stuff from him until he is old enough to understand it. I don't want him to doubt his abilities because of the labels the medical community has given him (especially the dreaded "R" word, "delayed," and "disabled").

I admire your writing and will visit you more often in 2007. Happy New Year!

getzapped said...

This is such a heartfelt post. I can relate to both issues; tending to everyone else and wanting the best for your nephew. I have two young nephews and worry about them (for various reasons). I must say (as I remind myself about my little guys) your nephew has a strong family behind him (and Aunt), this is something he knows, regardless of his current state. I share your concern and send hope his way. Be gentle with yourself and let your love heal not only others, but yourself.


The Gig said...

As usual you wrote a good post. This was very interesting to read. You know, I never thought of it that way and I wish that every parent in the world (especially those with at-risk or troubled kids) could read this post. God Bless you

Brownsoul said...

I hear that, Rose. Let blessings, not curses on someones life flow from your mouth. I was always taught the your tongue is a powerful thing. Once you've let something pass your lips you cannot take it back. You can apologize, but what has been said has been said.

kathi said...

They definitely can hurt, and not only hurt, but scar. Once something is said, it can never ever be taken fully back. Ditto Brownsoul. The toungue is a powerful weapon, there is more power in our words than we can possibly imagine.

MsPlacedAmbition said...

hey, rose. happy 07 lady. continue to encourage ur nephew in ways that are not exhausting to u. just let him know u care.

and i agree, those who have nothing nice to say, shld sit down and be quiet.

Deb S. said...

Excellent post!

BostonPobble said...

The sticks and stones line is the greatest lie we EVER teach children. Bruises heal; sometimes words never do. You and your family are always in my thoughts.

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