Except for one show.
It is called If You Really Knew Me.
I was looking for different movements that are currently going on in our country like -"To Write Love on Her Arms" and "Operation Nice" and I came across information about this show. The students have what is called "Challenge Day" at their school. On this day, they learn about the pain and heartbreak that has gone on in the lives of other kids that they go to school with every day. And then by starting off with 'If You Really Knew Me...' they tell about theirs. And sitting there and learning about these hurts of others and feeling compassion, they are challenged to stop the judgments that they make. They are challenged to break apart their normal "cliques" and to love everyone the same.
Something about the idea of this show spoke to me. So I watched a couple of episodes. It was funny, really, I went into it thinking that I would see what kind of lessons youth watching this show would learn, and yet, I learned a lesson just the same. A lesson that I need to be reminded of so often. And as I watched, I felt myself taking on the pain of different students in the circle. I took on the pain of the kind of kids that I probably didn't understand in High School. The kids I probably didn't even try to get to know. And I felt ashamed of myself. So much so that it made me start to think of who I might still treat like that today, as an adult. Who do I judge because of how they act or things they say, and yet, I have no idea where their pain is coming from and who has hurt them to make them this way.
And I took on the pain of the girl sitting in the circle that everyone perceived as perfect. The girl that it took everything she had to convince everyone that just because she was Homecoming Queen that it didn't mean that she didn't feel lonely. And it didn't mean that she thought she was better than everyone else. And sitting there with that lump in my throat, I thought about how more than anything, it didn't mean that this girl wasn't going to completely break one day, and in her heart, wish that more than anything she could give back that ridiculous title if it meant that she didn't feel so empty inside.
Just watching this show, I wanted to be there in this gym and just hug these children. I wanted to be able to squeeze them as tight as I could and tell them how to trade in their pain for joy. After all, I was once just like all of them. And it makes me wonder how many people are out there today, just hurting and covering it up with smiles and jokes. And how many people just like them are getting out of their beds in the morning and ignore the person in the mirror to go and place judgments on everyone else. If we really knew these people, and what kind of sadness and loss they have had to endure in their lives, would that change the way we see them?
It makes me wonder.
If You Really Knew Me ........
You would know that I was a victim of dating violence and other abuse.
You would know that I have struggled with depression and insecurity.
You would know that I longed to feel love from my father.
You would know that I watched someone who was like a brother to me die.
You would know that I've hurt so many people because I couldn't trust.
You would know that I have felt empty.
You would know that I am forgiven.
You would know that I have found peace and joy in my God.
You would know that the things I have struggled with, I have sought help for and I have overcome.
You would know that I am grateful for these things because they have taught me compassion.
And you would know that I love you. Flaws and All.