For 20 years I’ve worked in radio advertising were the only people I interacted with were mainly white Anglo Saxon men who owned businesses. Even the rest of the staff at the radio station were usually white and could quite easily put food on the table.
Working in radio had shielded me from the real world.
And now a little aboriginal kid had shown me what the other side of life can be like.
He was about 9 years old, with a mop of tangled hair and a jumper that I soon realised may not have been washed in weeks, if not months. The kid looked poor and may also have been one of those kids whose only food for that day had come from the Food Bank that delivered fruit to the school each morning.
He listened with eagerness to my entire presentation and asked lots of great questions. His drawing skills weren’t the best, but it was their imagination that I wanted the kids to exercise not their drawing skills and boy did he have an imagination! He didn’t hesitate when I asked him share to his invention with the class and even wanted to know how to get to where I was doing a book signing the following day.
What will become of the kid with the grotty jumper? Will all that enthusiasm and energy be crushed when he gets home by something more pressing like hunger? Will his family be supportive or will they neglect him or even worse abuse him?
I have no way of knowing.
I know the teachers and the school do their best with what they’ve got and I’m in awe of what they do. But is it enough?
How does this kid with the grotty jumper know that he is enough?
I didn’t seen him at the book signing so I’m going to try and track him down and get him a copy of the book. It might help in some small way.