Yesterday I took the girls to the castle park (Kendall was off playing B-ball) and there were quite a few young children there. I noticed one boy around age 8 or 9 I'm guessing. He was one of the older children and happily played along with the little tykes. Three older children (and by older I mean a year or two) entered the park and the boy I had noticed asked one of the older boys if he would be his best friend. The boy said no. He walked away and headed straight for the other boy and asked the same question - "Will you be my best friend?" The boy shrugged. I didn't hear quite all that he said to the older boy but he was saying something about a club he was creating. He followed that older boy around like a lost puppy wanting desperately to fit in, to be part of the group.
My heart felt sad for this young boy because I have felt the sting of not fitting in. Kids (and adults!) can be so cruel and words do hurt. You may forgive, but the words still haunt you. We learn to hide who we really are out of fear of not being good enough or a fear being rejected by those who are important to us or from those we seek approval from.
Everyone wants to be loved and accepted for who they are. My goal is to be kinder to the people who cross my path. What is yours?