I volunteered at a summer camp for underprivileged children and learned that we can learn from unexpected sources.
Every morning, the manager would gather us volunteers to brief us on the plan for the day and we took care of the kids who were eager to learn new arts and games. Effortless and fun, the three days of the camp went smoothly. I was discovering my leadership skills and was quite happy with myself.
It was the last evening of the camp and a Charlie Chaplin movie was scheduled after dinner. I was about to join the kids in the room after my small break when I saw the manager walking to her room. She looked at me and ordered me to look after the kids so she could prepare for the farewell the following day.
Preparing for farewell? We’re done making everything. There’s nothing left to prepare. This is what I wanted to tell her, but I simply smiled and nodded.
Then she added “Don’t forget reflection time. Ask them what they learned.”
I sarcastically asked, “Reflection time for a Charlie Chaplin movie?”
Maybe it was my sudden outburst, or maybe what I said made perfect sense. I saw her eyes widen with surprise. She simply barked, “Do as I say.” Then she withdrew to her room.
After a few minutes of falling and smiling by Mr. Chaplin, I forgot about the little incident. I was completely involved with the kids. They sat and watched the movie without any trouble. As the movie ended, I thought of ways to apologize to the manager for my question.
After the movie, I asked the children: “So boys and girls, did you like Mr. Chaplin?”
There was a unanimous “Yes!”
“It’s reflection time now.”
Before I could say anything else or start saying how silly it all felt, one of the kids screamed, “Life goes on!” It was the routine theme of Reflection Time that they had gotten used to.
“Yes, it does,” I mumbled.
“No matter how many times you fall, you should get up.” chirped in another kid.
“It is a movie,” said one of the grown-up kids. “He didn’t really get hurt so he can stand.”
“He might have gotten a little bit hurt, mam,” said the smaller kid.
“Yes, but he still got up. So yes!” I said.
“And when you stand up, always smile.” said another kid.
“Wow. That’s good.” I said.
If someone had asked me for the reflections of my own camp experience, I would have said that I need to be more patient with others and to always be open and receptive to other people’s ideas.
Written by Sunayna Pal – Rockville, Maryland
Feature Photo by Edho Fitrah
by Z.E. Frey
“There were “aha!” moments (It looks nice from here/ But I’m seeing piles of bills/Envy fades away) and moments of recognition (In order to grow /I must learn how to forgive/Damn. That’s a challenge.). Some of the haiku just beg to be copied on a post-it and stuck to my mirror (Eyes are like fire/When you speak arrows of truth/Killing the slander.)… Frey’s authentic voice is perhaps the best part. She shows so many individual facets of her mind and heart that she creates a wonderful mosaic of herself. “Open” is definitely worth the time to read. I suspect I will reread it.”
~Gail Sosinsky Wickman for Readers’ Favorite
This book is not your typical collection of haiku. Have you ever wanted to vent but not compromise the identity of whom or what you are complaining about? A haiku is the way to do it! Laugh and be inspired by 560 thought-provoking humorous and brazen haiku about love, betrayal, faith, work, and even the struggles of weight-loss.
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: IWA Publications/IWA Publishing Services July 4, 2012
- ISBN 978-1477625323
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches