On that block lived a different boy.
Netinho was born mentally-challenged and could not speak or think properly. He would be sitting at the gate, silently, because he liked to look at the street and see the kids playing.
And, as he was different, many kids would mock him, mistreat him, even throwing stones at him. The ones who did it frequently were André, Tiago, Pedro and Alfredo.
Sometimes, hit by a stone, Netinho would run inside, crying. His mom hugged him carefully, looked at the boys and said:
— Why do you keep doing that to my son? What has he done to you guys?!...
One day, Dona Júlia, Pedro’s mom, passing by saw the group of boys bothering Netinho. Stuck on the corner, with his arms covering his head, he cried, scared.
The lady came up to him, full of compassion, hugged the boy, talked to him, and took him inside, delivering him to his mother.
After that she came back and, not criticizing the boys, invited them for a glass of juice in her house. They accepted the invitation happily, surprised for not being told off.
As she prepared the juice, Pedro’s mom gave them some toys: a guitar, a small K7 player, a miniature piano, some games and many other things.
When she returned with the glasses of juice, asked smiling:
— So, having fun?
The boys complained, disappointed:
— We can’t play! Everything seems to be broken! The guitar has no strings — said Tiago.
— And the K7 player is useless. There are no batteries! — André said.
— The piano is off-key and there are some buttons missing! — Alfredo mumbled.
And Pedro, outraged, burst out:
— That’s enough, mom! You know these toys have had it. The games are silly and the electrical train is broken... Nothing works!
Dona Júlia and sat down, staring at the boys, agreed:
— That’s true. You guys are right. These toys no longer work. But, fortunately, the toys don’t work properly, not you all. You should be grateful to God for that.
A bit confused, the boys asked:
— How come?
Calmly, Dona Júlia explained:
— All of you were born perfect! You have no difficult in thinking and study all right, because your brains are perfect. And your body also works properly; your senses seem to be okay as well: you hear, speak, feel and see perfectly. You all have hands and feet and walk normally. Isn’t it great?
The kids agreed, satisfied. Pedro’s mom went on:
— What if one of you was born blind? Or armless? Or legless, you couldn’t walk?
— Ah! That’d be dreadful! I don’t even want to think! — one of the boys said.
Dona Júlia agreed, and kept talking:
— That’s it. But there are people not as happy as you all are. They were born challenged either in their minds of bodies, like a broken toy. Do you know anyone like this?
The boys remembered the kid they bothered so much.
— Just like Netinho, right? — someone asked.
— Exactly. Netinho was born mentally-challenged and that’s why he can’t express himself like the others do. He, as a spirit, is as smart as you, but he can’t make his “apparatus”, which is his body, work properly. Did you understand?
— So it means he understands everything around him? — Pedro asked.
— Definitely. He just can’t make the others know that and suffers a lot. Netinho deserves all our due respect and care. If the Lord is fair and good, and knows what the best is for us, and made Netinho be born with this condition, it is because his impairment will be useful for his progress.
She, then, concluded:
— Jesus said that “we should do to others what we would like to be done with us”. So, had you been in Netinho’s boots, how would you like to be treated?
The boys, meditating on what they had heard, got ashamed, having now realized how rude they had been to Netinho, each one reflecting that could have been “him” to be born with the same problem.
On the following day, there was a great change. Having regretted, the boys apologized to Netinho for all they had done. They started talking to him, calling him up to play and accepting him as a friend.
Satisfied and smiling, Netinho took part in everything, learning the games and showing that his difficulties were not that big.
This way, Netinho became a great companion for everybody.
Author: Célia Xavier Camargo
Source: O Consolador – Weekly Spiritist MagazineTranslation: Felipe Darella