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The Pill of Life

A man was out walking one day when he spotted a little boy around the age of 10 sitting on the curb of the road holding his throat and gasping for air. The man ran to the little boy and started doing the Heimlich maneuver on him believing that he was choking. “Mr. Stop, stop that.” The boy managed to cough out. The man stopped, he stared at the boy in bewilderment. “What are you doing kid, you should never fake choking, what is wrong with you?! Where are your parents?” The little boy looked at the man calmly and, while still gasping for air, he steadied his voice. “Mr. thank you for trying to help me but the situation I am in is unstoppable. As for my parents, my dad was killed two years ago in the war, my mother just died a week ago in a robbery. “Oh kid, I’m real sorry, you shouldn’t be out alone like this, who are you going to be staying with?” “My Aunt.” The boy simply replied. “Well you best be getting back to her, what are doing out here fake choking anyway?” “Well”, said the boy, “It is more of a story to the reason I am out here.” “Well I have all the time in the world, please, tell me your story and then we can get you back home.” The man replied. The boy took a deep breath and began his tale. “This morning was my mothers’ funeral, while I was listening to the preacher talk watching my mother being lowered into her grave the man who killed her came to me handcuffed with a police man standing behind him. He whisperedto me, “Excuse me little boy, but, are you Jonathan Wright?” I replied, “Yes sir, are you the man who took my mother’s life?” The criminal gaped at me in shock; his eyes were swimming with grief. “Yes Jonathan I am, I am truly sorry for what I have done. I have two daughters; one is just a year younger than you. Her name is Isabella and I love her. I couldn’t imagine what I would do if I lost her, nor if she lost me. I truly am a family man and I can’t believe I just destroyed someone else’s family life.” A tear ran down his cheek as he continued to explain. “I…I deserve everything that is coming to me in prison and I don’t blame you, or my family, if you or they hate me. I know what I did was wrong, and I would give my life if it meant your mother would come back.” As I stared into that criminals’ eyes I felt something change inside me…I felt different. I cleared my throat and narrowed my eyes…. “Wait, wait” said the man, “You mean to tell me that this criminal that killed your mother apologized, like he didn’t even mean to kill her?” “Yes Mr. But please have patience, it’ll all make sense in time. Just listen.” So the man did and the boy continued his tale. I narrowed my eyes and spoke the words that mattered most first, “Sir, I forgive you first off because it is hardest to forgive. But I’ll always remember what hellacious thing you have done. So I ask you this, why? Why did you shoot my mother if you are sorry?” The criminals’ somber gaze fixed at my eyes. “Well Jonathon, I am poor, my family is poor. I was laid off about 3 months ago and I could no longer afford to feed my family. We were starving and almost homeless all because I failed to provide for my family. I couldn’t watch my little girls and wife live like that any longer so I grabbed my pistol from my bedroom drawer and I ran to the bank. I needed the money and I felt so helpless, so I decided to rob the bank. My mind was empty of anything but my task at hand; I strode up to the window and demanded money while flashing my gun. The women I know now as your mother was not afraid of me or my gun, she bluntly told me no and continued on with her work.” The criminal looked down at his feet unable to hold my stare any longer. “I didn’t know what else to do, I was so focused on getting that money, I wasn’t thinking straight, and so I raised my gun to her head on the outside of the window, and again I demanded money. But she didn’t flinch; instead she just looked at me, almost like she could see though me and knew I wasn’t a bad person. But my mind grew void of everything I once knew as I chose to pull the trigger.” The little boy was silent for a watching as the man began to sob quietly. The policeman took the criminal away; the cop nodded at me and said he was sorry if the criminals’ story upset me, and without another word he strode away. I stared on as they buried my mother silently thinking. Once the funeral was over my aunt drove herself and I to my house. Once we arrived, we sat in the kitchen for a little while until I told her I had to go for a walk. She persisted that I shouldn’t but eventually she gave in, she told me to not be gone long and that she would help me pack up once I returned. I will be living with my aunt soon…she lives in Amsterdam, that’s far away and I don’t want to leave everything behind. I grew up here, my life is here but I am but ten, eight years away from being allowed to live on my own. The man pondered for a moment. “So, kid, although I really enjoyed your story it doesn’t quite tell me why you’re here choking.” “Well Mr. isn’t it obvious? I am an only child. My father died fighting a war, a war that is supposed to bring this world peace. My mother died a week ago shot by a man who was struggling with his own family issues. He chose his fate on a basis of love for his family but he did so by taking the life of another. Mr. this is life, this is how we as human being live our lives today. Poverty and love, war and peace, a life for a life, this is it. I am but ten and now I am meant to grow up and be a man, I am but ten and I realize this life I have today is about, I realized what life has become in general. In order to live, I have to disregard the life on another, maybe not kill another person, but I have to be ‘better’ than someone else. In order to be honored I have to lose my life to war. In order to have peace millions of lives have to be taken away. Mr. I’m sitting here on the curb choking because I am but ten and I now know what having a life means, Mr. I am but ten and I have just swallowed the pill of life, and it is choking me. I am dying each day because that is what living is doing me.” The boy stood up and without a peep more he walked away, once again he started gasping for air. The man just sat there and thought about the little boy and his story; about the truth and wisdom he was just taught. This was a lesson that he will forever remember because this is life he just hasn’t had to swallow his pill yet.
Moral of the story: look at life today; look at how many kids are being forced to become adults, look at those who have had to actually live life for what it is. Think about the economy today, about the war, about the steady stream of people that are being forced to live below us, or of ourselves that are the ones being downgraded. This is what life is today, think of the great things that happen to some people but also then see the obituaries. Is there a connection? Think about it all and just try to swallow the pill of life.



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