Friday, April 7, 2017

Just One

There is a commercial that plays every so often that my daughters refuse to watch. As soon as the first picture appears and the first notes of the song plays, they change the channel. As they change the channel, one or the other says, “Oh no!” Never fails.

It’s not because they are heartless. In fact, it’s the opposite. They care, perhaps too much.

You might have guessed, but the commercial I’m talking about is the ‘Stop Animal Abuse’ commercial and the song is Sarah McLachlan’s In the Arms of an Angel. I’ve always loved the song. A colleague remarked when it first came out, “It sears the soul!” and I would have to agree. Add the pictures of abused, sad, and starving animals, the song and commercial hits like a Ronda Rousey punch.

A while back I wrote about our rescue pup, Stella. It’s been over a year and she still hasn’t quite warmed up to me. As long as Kim or one of the girls are around, I might get to pet her, and only might. When they aren’t around and Stella is left alone with me, I still get a growl.

Some strays are tough to reach.

Got me thinking . . .

As teachers, counselors, administrators, administrative assistants, paras, librarians, nurses, and cafeteria workers, we come across strays all the time.

Some are disguised in American Eagle sweatshirts and Jordan shoes. Some send signals with dyed hair, nose rings and gauges. Some blend in with all the other kids walking the hallways between classes. Some hide behind a book, a cell phone and earbuds. Some are outwardly defiant and hide behind a scowl, a sneer with hooded eyes and a countenance of indifference or a look that says, “I dare you!”

We have them. We see them. We may or may not notice them. We have them among us. Not sure if they live among us or exist alongside of us, and mostly just out of arms reach.

They come to us willingly. They come to us dragging their feet. They come to us putting in time.

The abused animal commercial asks us to send money to help the cause. In return, we get a picture and a t-shirt.

I remind myself, sometimes Kim and the girls, that we can’t save them all. Can’t bring them all home with you. Just can’t. Too many.

But . . .

What about that one kid in the back of the room trying so hard not to be noticed? That one kid with the earbuds in and head ducked down? That one kid wandering the hallway instead of being in class? That one kid sitting alone in the cafeteria eating lunch or the one sitting alone in the cafeteria without any lunch? What about that one kid who sits alone at the end of the hallway or on the floor in front of a locker? What about that one kid on the playground watching all the other kids play and who wishes to play along with them, with anyone?  What about that one kid who remains emotionless and silent when greeted with a smile and a hello?

Yeah, we have them among us. All of us. The mall rats. The street kids. And we can’t save them all. We can’t bring them all home with us. Just can’t. Too many.

I was that kid like that once. At times even in my position and with my experience and with my ‘success’ I’m still one. Feels like it sometimes.

Perhaps . . .

We can notice one or two among us. God knows there are enough of them to notice. Maybe just one. If each of us noticed just one . . . then maybe . . . perhaps . . . Might not get a picture or a t-shirt. But we might get something more valuable. Something more meaningful. We might rescue a kid. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I just finished my fifth work of thriller/mystery fiction, Caught in a Web and it’s currently being edited. I’ll keep you posted as to when it will be published.

Please feel free to connect with me at:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

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If you like Thriller/Mystery fiction, check out my novels:

Available on Amazon for .99 the Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Agent Kelliher and two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.

Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.

Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.

Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy:
It began in Arizona with death and it ends in Arizona in death. A 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t know it. Their family vacation turns into a trip to hell. Out gunned and outnumbered, can this boy protect his father and brothers? Without knowing who these men are? Or how many there are? Or when they might come for him?

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe