6.22.2010

Be careful with the hearts of those around you.




"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."


Standing there brought back memories of another early morning in June when my father woke me up and said to follow him. 
The two of us left my best friend, Gigi Ballif, sleeping on a jumble of blankets in front of the TV and went upstairs.
My father's young face was grim and lined as he turned to me.
Something terrible has happened, he told me. Sometime during the previous night, Robert F. Kennedy had been murdered by an assassin's bullet in Los Angeles after winning the California primary election for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.
A man named Sirhan Sirhan shot RFK in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
This was shocking news, indeed — another blow for a country already reeling from all kinds of seismic shifts.
That year — 1968 — has aptly been described as "a Crack in Time." But my father's immediate concern was for the little girl still asleep downstairs.


Gigi's grandparents, George and Algie Ballif, were well-known and much respected activists, happy warriors who championed the Democratic cause in Utah County.
The news of the assassination would be particularly devastating to them and to their close-knit extended family, including my 12-year-old friend who already showed signs of Algie's famous willingness to do battle for whatever she deemed a righteous cause.
"This will be hard for Gigi," my father said, and with those words I knew he was telling me to watch over my friend in the days ahead.
Forty years later, every detail about that hushed conversation came back to me as I gazed at RFK's tomb in the sweltering summer air — what my father wore, the expression on his face, the sound of his voice, the way he held his hands.
What I did not fully appreciate then, of course, was his level of sensitivity.
The older I get, however, the more remarkable it seems to me that an adult would be so aware of how a child — a child not even related to him — might respond.
There my dad was, teaching me in the first fresh light of morning how to handle another person's sorrow.
There has been a lot of conversation about male parenting this past week, what with Father's Day and all, and let me say right now that I don't believe there is any one right way to be a dad. Different men have strengths and styles.
But of course! And the world is a richer place because of that variety.
I admire any guy who makes a serious commitment to fatherhood.
But there is a type of man I particularly cherish — one who is careful with the hearts of children.
e-mail: acannon@desnews.com © 2010 Deseret News Publishing Company | All rights reserved



I love reading her column.

I just had to share this one with you.

Be one who nurtures and who builds. Be one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart, who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them. If we could look into each other's hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I 
think we would treat others much more gently...

-Marvin J. Ashton-



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