It Came Through His Poem.....
By Susan Banner Todd on June 15, 2012
Like all grandmothers, I have a special fondness for all my grandchildren. I am convinced that they stand out universally as shining stars and that everyone who meets them will be totally mesmerized by their brilliance, good nature, and their unique perception. I am, of course, looking at this in a total unbiased way.
Ryan is a tall handsome young man and even though he is only 16, he has a very old soul. He wrote a poem, a magnificent poem that reflects his maturity and grace that I’d like to share.
Good and bad are hard to define
They’ve always been split right down the line
By its definition, it’s hard to know
But the root of your person can finally show
Only you can be utterly sure
On whether your full intentions were pure
You see, good and bad are in the same
All that is said, is what we pertain
To the story that each of us have in ourselves
That one man’s heaven is another man’s hell
So what I am saying, there is no definition
That good can be bad without completion
That smart can be dumb when seen by one guy
But the tables can turn in the blink of an eye
It’s all about how only you can perceive.
This poem came out of an assignment from his English teacher. She asked the class to construct a poem that described the difference between a good and a bad poem. When he put pen to paper and thought about his own belief system, he stood in his truth. It is true that he was disappointed that his teacher didn’t like it; in fairness she was looking for something more related to proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. However, by his perception, he was following her directions for the assignment; the poem was accepted. For a high performing student, one who is in advance classes and will graduate from High School a year earlier than his peers, the D+ was a bitter pill to swallow. When I first read his poem, as his grandmother I found myself wanting to reach out and berate his teacher for not appreciating that his light shines through. He just laughed and said “It’s okay, Grandma. It is not about the grade. She has to do what she has to do and so do I. Besides, I like my poem”
I am incredibly proud of Ryan because he has learned at a very early age that everything is perception. I am proud not only because the poem’s content but because he stood in the truth of his written word. He steps forth without limitations into a worldwide culture that generally lives by the design of their own box. I’m talking about a courageous young man who through his disappointment still saw the folly of blindly declaring ‘this is good’ and ‘this is bad’.
Hope lies ahead for humanity in the minds and hearts of our children. Ryan will be one of them as they group together to build a better world with compassion and an understanding that we are all part of humanity. Not ‘bad’, not ‘good’ just with more similarities than differences.
Susan Banner Todd