Growing up I was told of a heroic story that led my family to the United States. I remember being so proud and so grateful that my Opi (great grandfather) stowed away on a ship destined to America in order to flee Nazi Germany. I remember the chills and elation that I had, visiting Ellis Island where my Opi was finally allowed off of the ship to call for the rest of our family (his wife and children) to be with him.
When he made it to America, he dropped his middle name (Adolph) and barred the children from speaking in German, for fear that they would be sent back. This always disappointed me. My German heritage stopped right then. The choice was either America or Germany, and they had to decide. Despite all costs. I’ve always been intrigued to hear others stories and/or family histories.
I’ve recommended the children’s book, Room for a Little One. Not only do I think it’s the perfect book for children during the Christmas season, but it also spoke to the adult me. I encourage you to purchase it or read it & tell me what you think. The message is bold enough for me to keep it on our bookshelf year round.
After reading this I couldn’t help to see the juxtaposition of morals/ethics being taught to our children. A child almost always goes through the dreaded MINE phase. We’re in it now, prayers are appreciated. They are in survival mode and begin to learn that they can do for themselves, but haven’t quite sorted out wants & needs. (Hell, I’m not sure if I’ve figured that out yet.) We almost immediately respond, No you need to share. Treat others nicely, there is ENOUGH for everyone. We can all PLAY.
But then they grow up and they see real world conflict through various outlets: news, social media, word of mouth, first hand experience; all of which are shouting “MINE”.
The title gives the book’s main point: Room for a Little One. It repeats often, there is ALWAYS room. Even amongst prey and predators, animals who are different, animals who do not belong. Room can still be made.
& I know many of us, in survival mode, will say: there is not enough for everyone. What about me? Times have changed. But I want to encourage everyone, even myself, to remember that when my Opi came to America through Ellis Island, just like many others, the attitude was about the same. & look what a beautiful thing it made!
Watching Pastor Michael Todd’s sermon, “There’s Levels to This”, hit me hard. We have been in quarantine and in isolation, operating with the bare minimum. & look at God, everything we have is enough. Things that I have thought were essentials turned out to be a luxury after this experience. How many things did you take for granted? I have a whole list of things. There has never been a time in my life that has humbled me more than this.
Sure we have had to give up a lot. Whether it be our jobs, hobbies, experiences or freedom. But what have we gained from this experience?