Sometimes Logical Does Not Apply
Life is full of situations and knowing how to approach them takes great creativity at times. This is especially true with children but even with adults I think sometimes we try so hard to give a logical answer when logical just does not seem to apply.
image from bitsofwisdom.org
I remember being young and being scared of the dark. I just knew someone was under my bed or outside my window. My mother, who was a black and white person…meaning there was no shades of gray, got so mad one night because I was upset. I was sure I had heard someone walking in the leaves outside my window. Her answer was to turn the lights on and force me to look outside and then to berate me and tell me “see..nothing is out there”. Did that make me feel better? Not hardly.
image from forever-healthy.org
Now, the difference in my mother and myself is this. My adopted daughter stayed with me for a while when her first-born was just a toddler. For some reason, the little boy was terrified of this gorilla looking face on one of the boy’s tee shirts. He was also afraid of this Halloween mask that looked like that too.
I was sitting in the living room when I heard him scream this horrible scream. After I about killed myself getting to the kitchen, I found my daughter holding her son and my two teenage boys in the kitchen. I asked what happened and was told that my daughter was trying to prove what a great guard dog her dog was and had my son put on the mask and beat on the door. Well, her son saw it and it terrified him and he was sitting there crying in her lap. So, my daughter was putting the mask on and off saying to him “see..it is not real. It is just mommy” while her son is looking on with crocodile tears. He had cried until he was doing what I call the “he he he he” as he cried.
My daughter kept trying to reason with him and show him that this was not a real animal to no avail. She finally looks at me and says “Please do something. I can’t make him stop crying”. So, I reached over and grabbed the mask, threw it on the floor and stomped on it about ten times and threw it in the trash can and said “don’t worry baby. He is dead now”. He stopped crying and got down from her lap, went and looked in the trash can…looked at me and smiled and went off and started playing with toys. Sometimes reasoning and logical just do not apply.
When someone is hurt, scared or upset, sometimes trying to be logical and reasoning with them is a waste of time for the emotions are so strong that they really do not hear what you are saying. I remember my friend Audrey that I lost to cancer about seven years ago. She and I talked daily. She and her husband and children lived in CA and I lived back east. She called me one day and I was crying and really devastated by something ugly that someone had said to me.
Now, I had already heard from those near me with all the logical responses. Pay them no mind. They are just being ugly. It is not you. Blah Blah Blah. But the tears still flowed. Now Audrey was a hoot and she seemed to know just what to say. As I wept telling her what happened, instead of trying to be logical with me and tell me that I should just ignore it, she said “well that was ugly. You want me to come and whup their ass for you?” And I started laughing through my tears. For the idea of her coming and defending me and “whupping their ass” was such a stark contrast to the logical statements everyone else wanted to say. Sometimes logical just does not apply.
Although there are many examples, this is the last one as this is a long post. I taught school in the deep south in a little country town of five hundred. My classroom lock was a skeleton key. I taught third grade and loved it. One day, the bus driver came and got me in my classroom. He said one of my students would not get off the bus because his mother would not help him find his shoes. She was mad because he was playing and it was running late and so she made him come to school barefooted to punish him and he was too embarrassed to come into the classroom.
Sometimes logical does not apply. I could have made that little boy get off the bus and come inside but I did not. I took my shoes off before I got to the bus and instead I told him to hurry as today was barefoot day in our classroom and we were all going barefooted and we needed to get back inside so class could start. That little boy looked up at me, looked down at my feet and wiped his tears and took my hand and off the bus we came. We went inside and I told all the kids that we were having barefoot day and to take their shoes and socks off and put them under their desk. And we had a wonderful day and a little boy came back years later to tell me that he never forgot that. Sometimes logical just does not seem to apply.
Sometimes we have to do what we would want others to do for us, not what is logical.
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