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  • Shaun Phillip Naylor

The Boy

Once upon a time there was a little boy who was filled with love, kindness and positivity. The boy would laugh, joke and play without a care in the world. This little boy had a bright shiny future ahead of him. He could grow up to be anything he dreamed of, for he was a blank canvas. Clay yet to moulded.

He radiated kindness from his soul, always ready play and ready to help. The boy related to the innocence of animals. His spirit was unbroken and he knew only love. Love which was shown to him by the family he was born into.

The boys parents taught him to love, openly and honestly. They instilled into him morals and values that promoted kindness and acceptance for others and their differences. The boy, innocent and untouched by hatred and deceit represented all that was good in the world, all that human kind could be. He was an untapped well of creativity and light waiting to share his gifts with the world.

As the years went past and the boy grew older he would learn the ways of the world. The rules in which he would be forced to live by. These rules began to make themselves known as he took his first steps out in the big wide world knows as ‘school’. Here in ‘school’ the boy would learn incredible things that would open up the whole world to him. He would learn about music, about creativity and art. School provided the boy with many skills, he learned to read and to write, school taught him that there were other countries out there waiting to be explored, the possibilities for the boys future were limitless! Oh what a time to be alive.

But whilst at school the boy learned about people. That pink was not for boys. That girls had dolls to play with so they could be mothers whilst the boys would play soldiers with little toy guns and take eachother to war. The boy was made aware of people’s differences. Differences that he always thought were unique and beautiful were now dangerous and scary. He witnessed people being taunted and bullied for things they had no control over, like thier hair, their skin, their gender. This was difficult for the boy to understand. ‘Aren’t we all the same? We are all people. People who get to live on a beautiful planet in the middle of the universe! We are so lucky, we should be celebrating this’?

Eventually the boy became a victim to his differences as the children of school realised he too was unique. They turned on the boy and pushed thier views of him onto him, his shoulders beginning to feel heavy as he questioned himself. ‘They are right! My hair is curly, that must be bad. I am chubbier than those boys, chubby is bad. I do like to play with the girls as well as the boys, why am I so different?

As the years passed and the boy cautiously navigated his way through life he always tried to remain positive and believe that people were good at their core. Every so often the boy would meet someone new and he could see the flicker of light in their soul, he would tend to the light inside of them, gently nurturing it to become brighter, like blowing softly on the embers of a dying flame. Sometimes the boy would have success, the person would begin to shine again. They would light up and they would fly high in sky for a while. Sometimes they would fly so high he would never see them again but sometimes they would smash into a ‘difference’ and they would fall back to earth with a crash and thier light would flicker and go out.

The boy became so good at helping other people find the light inside of them that he began to forget about his own light and was blinded to others who would slowly take a peice of it for themselves. The boy became darker on the inside, until it seemed like he had no light left. It was in the darkness the boy would remind himself of all of his differences, all the things about himself that others didnt like. How his existence could be offensive to people. How he was supposed to be a certain way in order to be accepted, how he had to fit into a box designed by society and how he shouldn’t step foot outside of that box if he wanted to go further. He was bound by rules that were placed onto him by people who didn’t even know him.

Admits the chaos of the boys mind he could hear cries from all of the other souls that were also weighed down by what made them different. The billions of souls that are trying to keep thier lights on, souls that are fighting for the ability to be seen and celebrated in spite of thier differences.

The screams and the harrowing inner voices were deafening. The boy who once had the potential to become magnificent has become an empty man. The once blank canvas of his soul has been tarnished by hate, by hurt, by loss. He is no longer lifted by positivity and light, he has become a shadow of his former self. He is lost, in the thick of the woods with no light to guide him home. He can’t talk or ask for help. After all, the rules he has to live by means that men don’t ask for help. To need help is weak. The man must keep it all inside now. It is his burden to bare, his secret to keep.

How did he end up here? He was once young, hopefull and filled with joy. The man spent his life looking for hope when it felt hopeless. The man had helped so many people get thier light back, he had given everything to his belief in the good of mankind and for what? He had nothing left and nothing left to give. Hopeless and helpless. Battered and bruised by other people’s preconceptions of what he was supposed to be when all he ever wanted was for everyone to be happy.

Alone in the dark, a black silence fills the space. The man, motionless. He had never heard silence like this before. He felt nothing. He stared lifelessly into the abyss

;

The man saw a tiny flicker of light. Like a star twinkling in the night sky. The man felt his heart skip a beat as he could feel his eye lids fill with tears. He kept his eyes on the flickering light. His heart beat was so strong he could hear it inside of his head. The man kept his eyes on the flickering light. He could see it, he could feel, he knew what it was. It was still there all along. It was hope.

It had come back to him, if only for a moment. He couldn’t lose sight of it again. He kept his eyes on the flickering light. The man slowly began to breath. He started to think about his family, the people he had loved and the people he had helped. The light started to grow. The man could feel the warmth coming through the light. He continued to think about everything that he loved about life. The ocean, sunsets, rustling of wind through trees. The light continued to grow. A tear fell from the mans eyes. He was starting to feel knew again. It felt like he was waking up for the first time. He had hope again, he thought about the future, one that he could help shape. He knew whatever came next was going to be hard but the man knew so much more now. He had the wisdom and will of a man reborn. there was only one thing he had left to do. Wake up the boy.

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