Friday, March 09, 2007

Are you a Mermaid?

I came across this piece in a training, it's a long read, but trust me you wont regret it:

Giants, Wizards, Dwarfs and Mermaids (by Robert Fulghum) [I summarized it a bit]

Giants, wizards and dwarfs was the game to play.Being left in charge of about eighty children seven to ten years old, while their parents were off doing parenty things, I mustered my troops in the church social hall and explained the game. It's a large-scale version of Rock, Paper, and Scissors, and involves some intellectual decision making. But the real purpose of the game is to make a lot of noise and run around chasing people until nobody knows which side you are on or who won.

The excitement of the chase had reached a critical mass. I yelled out: "You have to decide now which you are--a GIANT, a WIZARD, or a DWARF! "While the groups huddled in frenzied, whispered consultation, a tug came at my pants leg. A small child stands there looking up, and asks in a small, concerned voice, "Where do the Mermaids stand?"
Where do the Mermaids stand? A long pause. A very long pause. "Where do the Mermaids stand?" says I.
"Yes. You see, I am a Mermaid."
"There are no such thing as Mermaids."
"Oh, yes, I am one!"

She did not relate to being a Giant, a Wizard, or a Dwarf. She knew her category. Mermaid. And was not about to leave the game and go over and stand against the wall where a loser would stand. She intended to participate, wherever Mermaids fit into the scheme of things. Without giving up dignity or identity. She took it for granted that there was a place for Mermaids and that I would know just where.

"The Mermaid stands right here by the King of the Sea!" says I. So we stood there hand in hand, reviewing the troops of Wizards and Giants and Dwarfs as they roiled by in wild disarray.

It is not true, by the way, that Mermaids do not exist. I know at least one personally.

I have held her hand.

Very inspiring...

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