Thursday, June 18, 2015
The Mystery Child
Dr Abe V Rotor
In a workshop for adult leaders, the instructor asked the participants to draw on the blackboard a beautiful house, ones dream house ideal to live in and raise a family.
It was of course, an exercise, which in the minds of the participants was as easy as copying a model from experience and memory. Besides it is a universal dream to own such a house, and its concept allows free interplay of both reason and imagination. The participants formed a queue to allow everyone to contribute his own idea on the blackboard.
The first in the queue drew the posts of the house, on which the succeeding members made the roof and floor. The rest proceeded in making the walls and windows.
In the second round the participants added garage, porch, veranda, staircase, gate, fence, swimming pool, TV antennae, and other amenities.
Finally the drawing was completed and the participants returned to their seats. What make a dream house, an ideal house? A lively “sharing session” followed and everyone was happy with the outcome, and none could be happier than the teacher who learned this exercise in an international forum.
Just then a child was passing by and peeped through the open door. He saw the drawing of the house on the blackboard. He entered the classroom and stood for a long time looking at the drawing. The teacher approached him, the participants turned to see the unexpected visitor.
The child pointed at the drawing and exclaimed, “But there are no neighbors!”
In the same village there was a similar workshop exercise, but this time the participants were to draw a community. The participants made a queue on the blackboard and after an hour of working together, came up with a beautiful drawing of a community.
In the drawing there are houses and at the center are a church, a school, village hall, and plaza. A network of roads and bridges shows the sections of the village. People are busy doing their chores, especially in the market area. Indeed it is a typical village.
The participants discussed, “What constitute a community.” It was a lively discussion and everyone was so delighted with their “masterpiece” that the teacher even wrote at the corner of the blackboard “Save.”
Just then a child was passing by. When he saw the drawing on the backboard through the open door, he entered the classroom. He went close to the drawing and looked at it for a long time. The teacher and participants fell silent looking at their very young guest.
The child exclaimed, “But there are no trees, no birds; there are no mountains, no fields, no river!”
Some days had passed since the two workshops. Virtually no one ever bothered to find out who the child was or where he lived.
Then the whole village began to search for the child, but they never found him – not in the village, not in the neighboring village, not in the capital, and not in any known place.
Who was the child? Everyone who saw him never forgot his kindly beautiful and innocent face, and they pondered on his words which became the two greatest lessons in ecology.
But there are no neighbors!
But there are no trees, no birds; there are no mountains, no fields, no river!
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