Then I got to thinking about hurt, how there are so many different kinds. Anyone can be hurt -- it sure doesn’t discriminate. Hurt is painful, whether it's physical, mental, or emotional.
When my children were small, it was so easy to fix hurts. Most only required a little rinsing with water, Mommy’s ‘red paint’ (Mercurochrome), and a Bandaid ("To keep all the blood inside where it won't leak out"). Then I kissed the bandaid and gave a hug. It was so simple to be a hero back then.
As they got older, hurt was more about feelings and that took a lot more time and patience. You had to explain that not everyone we meet will like us, other kids don’t always play fair, and maybe the teacher does have favorites, but she is human, too.
It’s more difficult to explain that kind of hurt to a child. They want to know, "Why?" Why don’t some children play fair? Why would someone say or do something to hurt them when they didn’t do anything to deserve it? Why does the teacher always let the same child always pass out papers and run errands?
But the real challenge came when I had to teach them that two wrongs don’t ever make a right and it’s wrong to retaliate.
We spend their entire childhoods telling them to be nice; be truthful; don’t hit; do unto others the way you want them to do unto you; if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all; and my personal favorite -- the one my mother used a lot when I was growing up -- say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.
But not every parent teaches these same principles to children. Hurt doesn’t get any easier with age. As an adult, it hurts to have someone say something mean to us, or about us. It hurts not to get the promotion we worked so hard for.
And it really hurts when someone we love dies ...
“A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write.” ~CJ Heck