He’s Broken

It was a typical Saturday. I woke up and Toby was already awake and rolling. He can running into my bedroom after just being dropped off by Nanna. The rest of the day went pretty normal. I got up, made him breakfast, me breakfast, and put on his shows.

Later in the afternoon Toby convinced me to play some sort of rocket game. Essentially, we hid under a blanket, I would shake him and the blanket and act like we were blasting off. He loved it. Then we would get out and “hunt” monsters. A random part of the game is Toby finding “pets” and bringing them back to the rocket ship to save. These are usually smaller stuffed animals that he finds and brings back. Today, he handed me about five stuffed animals that we “saved” and two plastic horses that we had to “save”. The thing that struck me today was that he handed me a horse that had a broken leg. Well, broken meaning that it was missing a leg. He grabbed the horse, giving it to me and said “we have to save this one, he’s broken.” I had to smile.

One of the lessons that I want to instill in Toby is that just because something is broken it doesn’t mean that it has lost it’s value. In a practical sense, who had enough money to keep replacing all the toys this kid breaks? If every time a toy is broken and I simply replace it with a new one, what’s the lesson?

Lesson: If something is broken you get a new one.

I see a generation of kids growing up that if things aren’t perfect then it’s deemed worthless. That they have to have the latest iPhone or bust. Or if it doesn’t look a certain way then it gets tossed out. I work with kids that intentionally destroy items just so they can complain and get something newer.

In a greater sense, what does this say about how we treat people? How we approach life? If a relationship is broken, well throw it away and get a new one. If your job is “broken”, quit and get a new one. If a person is “broken” by alcoholism, mental illness or sickness, are they worthless? If they don’t fit, do we simply throw them out? I suppose the ultimate lesson I want to teach Toby is that just because something or someone is “broken” it doesn’t mean they don’t have value. That you shouldn’t just discard people, that in fact they are worth saving.

I just found out that a kid that graduated from the place I work at is working at a pizza place and is getting ready to attend college and major in chemistry. This kid was broken. I know many people who would have tossed this kid aside. Discarded him. Would have said he belonged in a cell to waste away. That he was broken and worthless. This kid had experienced and done horrendous things. Yet he wasn’t thrown away. He was “fixed”. The thing is, if we discard all the broken people like we tend to do with all the broken “toys”, the world would be empty.

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