This morning I
want to share with you another episode from when I was a young
boy. Back then, I went to Wyngate
Elementary School. My story begins on the playground by a
fence. I donít remember what let up to it, but there was a
another boy at that school with whom I got into an argument. Of
course, I know that you never get into arguments with other
children... Oh, you do, do you? Hmm.
Well, we must
have started fighting with words - again, over what, I donít
recall, but somehow we went on to battle in a different way. With
stones. Thatís right, we started throwing rocks at each other,
right there at the playground fence. Was that a smart thing to do?
No. It wasnít, was it? Somebody could really get hurt if you
start throwing stones at each other. Well, that somebody ended up
being me. He must have been better at throwing than me. He nailed
me on the top of my head. It hit so hard that it started bleeding.
remember whether we went to a teacher at that point, or whether a
teacher found us, but I ended up in the nurseís office. I was
afraid my Mom would be really mad at me because my shirt got all
bloody. When they called her, she raced to the school - you know
how mothers get, all worried and everything. She took me home.
There is a
price to be paid for throwing stones at school, you know. Even if
youíre the one who gets hurt. I had to stay after school one
day. Detention. In the principalís office. I was a little afraid
of the principal. He was big and stern and "official."
However, on the day when I was to take my "punishment,"
which I sort of felt I already got in being nailed by the rock,
the principal needed to be away. So, I spent the afternoon with
the assistant principal, who was really nice. I felt like he cared
about me. He talked with me about other ways of dealing with
disagreements, things beside throwing stones.
What sort of
things do you think he said? When you get into an argument with
someone on the playground, what else do you think you could do to
settle it other than throw stones? (Keep asking questions and
getting their responses, praising especially the good alternatives
they think of - even the goofy ones, which might actually work.
Have some possibilities partly developed in your own head to toss
out for them to complete. Let it come, however, from them).
One more thing
I remember. The assistant principal had a little candy jar on his
desk, and he gave me a piece of candy. Iíve brought with me some
"sucky" candy, also, that Iíd like to share with you.
Please wait to stick it in your mouth until later, when your
parents say itís okay. As you suck on it, remember my story.
Remember, also, all the ideas you came up with for settling
arguments without throwing stones.