Helping the Boys
A handful of young boys in their early teens are attending the festival. They have something in common. Some of them are orphans and without parents for some years. The loss of parents is due to different forms of death. One boy lost his parent from drinking too much rum and the other parent died from a gun shot. As he was telling me I imagined that he had told this reality about his life over and over again. There was a sense of loss in his voice and even being slightly lost. He didn’t want to be this way but that is where his destiny lies.
Someone can dismiss the mishaps so easily by saying, “it’s his karma” even though it be true, and walk away. I was told that the great thinker Chanakhya Pandit was an orphan. And there is a history of magnanimous saints who were abandoned at an early stage in their live or due to some circumstance the parents either died or are just out of the picture.
When the boy explained how he lost his mom and dad he did emote with a slight choking in his voice. Immediately I reverted to my past as the eldest of a group of pretty happy kids. In particular my dad was always there for us. He provided us with the base essentials and never gave too much. He arranged for my siblings and I a sandbox, swing and other playful climbing instruments. He gave us the things we needed to play sports and bicycles. He gave us direction, principles and chores to keep us engaged. I would rise at 5:30 to milk our family cow. Such gratitude I can’t replace other than being like a parent to these boys.
My stay in Guyana has been good from that perspective. One boy, Rivaldo 12, comes to my side all the time. He has no parents. So I’m committing myself to taking time for him along with his friends. He has an attraction for chanting and like the other boys here they keep engaged.
I don’t think there is a greater gift to offer a displaced child than your precious time, your guidance and friendship.
After all, Rivaldo, led me to the beach knowing the directions. There we received a good early morning breeze. So now for the brief period that I’m here I will offer some direction so that it may contribute to his having a more easy journey in this life.