Tuesday, 19 July 2011


This is another story about the little Asian boy that I took to school and said goodbye to about two weeks ago. It's in two parts, so I hope that you will bear with me!

A couple of days ago I was enjoying a coffee in a place up town. I had just come from Church and was ploughing my way through The Observer (not my favourite newspaper) when snippets of conversation from the next table began drifting into my consciousness.

They were all the harder to ignore because the person who was doing most of the talking had one of those voices which was not so much loud as penetrating,if you know what I mean.

Her voice was bright and shiny with enthusiasm. The snippets and slivers of conversation came thick and fast. She was into some sort of Virtual Reality scene and was proudly regaling her companions with the status of her Avatar. Am I getting this right?

The Avatar was apparently a person of great virtual importance (we've all met a few of these in THIS world, haven't we?) The Enthusiast actually came out with the immortal line, "I'm the third most important person in my imaginary world". If I was going to go to the bother of creating an imaginary world I'd make b***dy sure I was THE most important person in it but as it is, I have enough problems with reality, so there!

This world, no not THIS world, the imaginary one (try to keep up) was apparently a dangerous and demanding place. There were Ogres, Monsters and Dragons and what have you lurking around every corner. Dastardly things had to be done to ensure survival.

"I've just realised", said our Enthusiast", to stand a chance of surviving I might have to kill my own son!"

I felt myself rapidly approaching "people slapping mode" so I tuned out and returned to The Observer (it has its uses).

Fast forward (what a relief), to:

A day later I am going home on the bus. The little boy I said goodbye to a couple of weeks ago (see previous postings) was in his wheelchair across the aisle and accompanied by two of his carers. He had just come back from a Fun Day Out and the sheen of happiness was still evident on his face. Suddenly, he frowned. "Will you be taking me to my new school?", he asked.

I reassured him that they would find somebody nice to look after him and his face relaxed back into that teddy bear smile.

For the rest of his journey he would look over occassionly and the big brown eyes would sparkle in a reprise of that smile. He seemed confident that, at least for the moment,everything in his world was as it should be and I, at least for the moment, was glad for him.

As the bus rolled on I thought, again, of that idiot world I had heard about the day before. One thing was certain the Ogres, Monsters and Dragons that this little boy will have to face will be real enough. They will come in the form of the humiliation he will soon feel at still needing nappies. They will appear in the form of the unthinking cruelty (and worse, the conscious cruelty) of those more fortunate than he. And, later, when others find girlfriends they will come, again and again and again.......

But I have seen the light in his eye and been close enough to sense the strength of his God given spirit. There will be many battles ahead and he may not win them all (though I pray that he does) but, he can be sure of one thing, those he does win will be REAL. They will not be locked away in some, dark and dank and unseen Virtual World. They will be out there shining for ALL with the eyes to see.

May God bless him and watch over him on his journey!

If you have any stories to tell or subjects you'd like me to cover or any personal heros/heroines that you would like to draw attention to, you can contact me on:
johnnicollendeavour@yahoo.co.uk Thanks


  1. thank you so much for visiting my blog
    and now that I have had a chance to glance at yours I think I have found an incredible human being...no avatar
    I too have great empathy...I think sometimes it is a curse...but no it is a blessing....
    I see in yur profile that you like The Great Gatsby..that gave me a laugh...I had to study that darn book for a writing workshop this past month...gee gads...I get it , but truly what is it that you list it as one of your favorites? I really would like to explore why people like it so much It does have some beautiful writing..especially the beginning and end...but there wasn't a single character that I cared about...but the layering and symbolism was wonderful..but still not enough for me...
    Any way...I will go over read more of your musings....

  2. Hello John, thank you for visiting 24C, it's so nice to meet your kind heart. You and your little friend will be together forever in spirit, and the impact you've had on his life will stay with him always as well, and be a strength to him when those 'ogres' come banging down the door (I hope there aren't too many).
    Blessings to you, and to him...
    xo Jessica

  3. Oh, those virtual worlds.

    I don't get it, either.


    p.s. And as an aside? The Great Gatsby? The writing is exquisite. :-)

  4. Spending time with children/people with challenges is one of the best ways to understand the real world - which is why I'm a special education/therapeutic teacher (not an accountant.) :-)
    Thanks for stopping by my place.

  5. I agree with the above comment. I work in aged care and it's so rewarding. I hope 'your' little boy lives a happy life