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Lesson Plans


"Bright Heart"-"A" project if you dare

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
John & Sandra Barrick (astroboy)
Wed, 02 Dec 1998 16:42:51 -0500


So as I read this I thought I can see the relevance can anyone
else?? Put all the negativity and politics aside, all the angry
protesters(AKA-angry parents) and the pseudo sex ed. Here is a
project that could help those most quiet. Those which may or may not
be involved personally with aids, this also has relevance for any
terminal or terribly sick child/adult/friend or sibling....read
on....

Bright Heart

Last year around Halloween, I was invited to participate in a
carnival
for Tuesday's Child, an organization that helps children with
the
AIDS
virus. I was asked to attend because I'm on a television show; I
went
because I care. I don't think that most of the kids recognize me
as
a
celebrity. They just thought of me as a big kid who came to play
with
them for the day. I think I liked it better that way.

At the carnival they had all kinds of booths. I was drawn to one
in
particular because of all the children that had gathered there.
At
this
booth, anyone who wanted to could paint a square. Later that
square
was going to be sewn together with the others, to make a quilt.
The
quilt would be presented to a man who had dedicated his life to
this

organization and would soon be retiring.

They gave everyone fabric paints in bright, beautiful colors and
asked
the kids to paint something that would make the quilt beautiful.
As
I
looked around at all the squares, I saw pink hearts and bright
blue
clouds, beautiful orange sunrises and green and purple flowers.
The
pictures were all bright, positive and uplifting. All except for
one.

The boy sitting next to me was painting a heart, but it was
dark,
empty,
lifeless. It lacked the bright, vibrant colors that his fellow
artists had
used.

At first I thought maybe he took the only paint that was left
and it
just
happened to be dark. But when I asked him about it, he said his
heart
was that color because his own heart felt dark. I asked him why
and
he
told me that he was very sick. Not only was he very sick, but
his
mom
was very sick also. He said that his sickness was not ever going
to
get
better and neither was his mom's. He looked straight into my
eyes
and
said, "There is nothing anyone can do that will help."

I told him I was sorry that he was sick and I could certainly
understand
why he was so sad. I could even understand why he had made his
heart a dark color. But...I told him that it isn't true that
there
is nothing
anyone can do to help. Other people may not be able to make him
or
his mom better...but we can do things like give bear hugs, which
in
my
experience can really help when you are feeling sad. I told him
that
if he
would like, I would be happy to give him one so he could see
what I
meant. He instantly crawled into my lap and I thought my own
heart
would burst with the love I felt for this sweet little boy.

He sat there for a long time and when he had had enough, he
jumped
down to finish his coloring. I asked him if he felt any better
and
he said
that he did, but he was still sick and nothing would change
that. I
told
him I understood. I walked away feeling sad, but recommitted to
this

cause. I would do whatever I could to help.

As the day was coming to an end and I was getting ready to head
home, I felt a tug on my jacket. I turned around and standing
there
with
a smile on his face was the little boy. He said, "My heart is
changing
colors. It is getting brighter...I think those bear hugs really
do
work."

On my way home I felt my own heart and realized it, too, had
changed

to a brighter color.

By Jennifer Love Hewitt
actress, "Party of Five"
from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
Copyright 1997 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and
Kimberly
Kirberger

Sandra Barrick
astroboy
http://home.fuse.net/astroboy