Dodgeball and the Competitive Boys

They stand winding their fingers together waiting for something to happen, for a ball to be thrown at them so that they can go up and play with the competitive boys. Only, as soon as a ball comes their way it is taken from them by the competitive boys they want so much to play with. They mutter to themselves, still dedicated to not caring. They stand where they don’t want to be, waiting, waiting for something to happen, to be given the opportunity to play with the competitive boys.

The competitive boys grin, and laugh, and joke, and they play. As the game continues it becomes apparent that the competitive boys are not competitive at all. They play the way that lions do, wrestling, not to win, but to socialise. They do not talk, but they communicate. They gesture wildly at one another and throw the balls to others to show friendship, they embrace each other lightly when victory is achieved, but the other side does the same even in loss.

They begin equal, the two teams, but the numbers of one diminish and diminish again until the competitive boys are standing, jostled, against the wall and the insecure girls are left with the opportunity they have been waiting for. They do not take it. They remain the same, huddling like penguins and looking hopefully at the competitive boys who stand at the wall, roughly urging them on. The insecure girls don’t do anything, they hug the back wall and the other team finishes the game.

The competitive boys on the wall watch the balls go back and forth, yelling and demanding and instructing and when they are done they stand, grinning and excited, waiting for the game to begin again. They jump up at the basketball hoop, showing that they can.

The teacher blows his whistle and the games begin again. He sees the insecure girls in their upset little huddles, but he doesn’t comment. They’d be horrified if he did. He wants to play with the competitive boys, but instead he blows his whistle and yells things.

When the games are done the competitive boys file sadly into the change rooms and the girls wait for them to come back.

We will all be back here tomorrow.

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Please be kind

I think kindness is a complicated thing, a thing intertwined in a mess of self-preservation, greed, and compassion. Like most things, it’s situational. It comes with the situation, it changes, it adapts and sometimes people don’t understand that. Something that you might say to one person might be a lot more dangerous if you were to say it to another. People are fragile things with their own things going on in their heads.

Kindness is a given thing, it is a gift, and like a gift it can be mistaken. In the end, with kindness, it isn’t really the thought that counts. Because unless that thought takes physical form, nobody knows what it is. So in the end it the words, it’s the gift that makes the impact. The good intentions are invisible; it’s the kindness that adds the food dye to the water.

Nobody has physic powers.

I have a very bad habit of speaking without proper thought, without kindness. This habit has existed under the guise of being hungry for quite sometime, which has a little to do with me as a five to ten year old. This is no longer the case, but I still say it is, because it’s a lot easier than saying what’s really getting to me. Or even worse, it’s something someone else assumes it while I sit in my chair trying to think of something Clem-like to say.

I now dread the words “You’re just hungry Clementine.”

I am not hungry, I am angry. And being angry nothing to be ashamed of, or cooed over, or soothed. It’s just a natural reflex to something or someone pissing you off. It’s not the end of the world; it’s just not very pleasant.

Due to this bad habit my dad has taken to looking me seriously in the eye when I’m about to leave the house and saying something like “Just remember to think about what you say before you say it. We don’t want you breaking anyone Clementine.” Something that I plead to anyone reading this is that when you remind someone, or correct someone, or tell someone to do something, what you are really saying is that you don’t think that they are smart enough to of already thought of that for themselves. Good intentions are invisible.

Do not make others feel small.

In terms of my dad, I am a big girl, and despite what you seem to think I am self-aware and I am working on it. Please stop. And, to my mother, please don’t joke about it. You might have to got through it every now and again and that may be tedious for you, but I live though it every moment of my life.

Despite what I’m sure my family thinks, I am not writing this to get back at anyone, or to make a point. I didn’t write this so that everyone would understand that they have to be nice to me. I just need to know that there is kindness, somewhere, and people are capable of speaking without a victim. All I want is for people to remember that anger comes from provocation and kindness is both blind and blinding.