This holiday, be a gift in the lives of other people

Nov 30, 2017

To the Editor:

It is hard to raise children in today's world. But, if you are a foster parent, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent or a guardian, it is even harder.

In my day, teachers and parents let bullies alone. They felt that it would make it worse for the victim if they interfered.

I am the cousin and guardian of four children. The 11-year-old boy is trying to better himself. He has been trying to get the food out of every situation, even if it is bad.

He joined the South Coast Young Marines located in New Bedford. I drive him and his brother every Tuesday night to New Bedford for them to attend and I live in Onset.

He got his hair cut because graduation is on Dec. 5, 2017. A girl on the school bus told him that he looked like a girl with cancer. A few kids laughed, including his own sister. When he told me, I went into defensive mode. I started to tell him it was not true and he told me to stop. He said, "It's okay." I was teary after this. At 11 years old, he is gaining insight that is important and this sometimes takes adults a lifetime to understand.

We never know what programs will work with kids. But we should try whatever we can. The 12-year-old girl told me she wanted what I had. I said, "What's that?" She said, "Not to care what others think."

At 61 years old, I wish I could bottle my knowledge. If all people who have the knowledge that comes with age could bottle it for younger people, we could make millions. But, more importantly, we could help younger people with this daily struggle. Even when you get older, sometimes this is still a struggle. The bickering would cease because we would choose compromise over being stuck in being right. This certainly would help in today's political climate.

In this season of giving, perhaps we could try to give some helpful knowledge to others who touch our lives. We could be the gift on the lives of people around us. Pay it forward by giving knowledge and making a difference in the lives of people around us.

I hope you will be there when my boys graduate from the Young Marines on Dec. 5. They are located at Fort Taber, 1000 Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford.

There was a fundraiser with sweets, which would please all the dentists in town. My ex-boss made a straight donation of $1,000 so each of the boys could donate $500 each. This is where it takes a village to come in. His generosity helped me make a difference in this organization. But it made the boys feel good because they knew it was because of them that it happened.

When generations of families lived together, knowledge was shared in a household. Perhaps we need to be a village family and realize, no one comes out of this world alive. Let's all make a difference in each others lives this holiday season.

Very truly yours,

Deborah Walton