Reminder of Love

February 10th, 2012 Stephen C. Healy Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

It has been a great hiatus from this blog, but I would much rather offer rich content than filler. Reading to my son tonight from one of my longtime favorite books, I was reminded of what it means to love. Now, there are several stories that attempt to breach the subject of love as if it were a subject. Beside the The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, the greatest testimony to love that I have seen in children’s literature is in The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

My cousin read from this book at his brother’s wedding and if you have never read the book, I recommend you go out and buy it immediately. It is a must have, no matter how old you are or what perceptions you might have about it! If you haven’t, here is a poignant lesson in the tale.

“What is REAL?…

‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become REAL.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand…but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It last for always.”

In 1922, these words were written about a stuffed animal. Embrace those around you who are Real and show compassion for those whom you may not understand, because they are Real too!

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