A young boy sits quietly in a classroom full of noisy children. No one sees him. A teenage girl completes her school work, while her peers gossip and pass notes to each other. No one sees her.
These are the invisible children, overshadowed by the people in the spotlight.
My mother and I were recently having this conversation. I told her of how saddening and frustrating it is to me that my son is practically invisible to most people, simply because he’s quiet and well behaved. In fact, I can’t remember the last time he got into trouble. He doesn’t talk back, complain, whine or let his emotions rule his behavior. He certainly doesn’t have the mood swings of a typical teenager.
He’s a good kid, probably the most well behaved person I know. But sadly, that is exactly why he’s invisible.
People don’t hesitate to play with a rambunctious child. They don’t walk past someone whose behavior clearly proves that they want attention. They see and confront the kids who behave unruly. People even go out of their way to bring smiles and laughter to others who are in the way.
But, what about those people who are out of the way? The ones who don’t act out and try to get the attention of others? Those people who would like to be appreciated and shown love and attention simply because of how good they are, instead of how bad they could be? What about them? Why should they be the ones who are ignored?
Don’t we want children to behave well? Shouldn’t we then encourage that behavior and compliment them for it? Shouldn’t they be the ones we give our attention to?
Unfortunately however, these are the children who most often go unseen…and then we wonder why it is that kids behave so badly. The answer is obvious. The ‘bad’ kids get attention.
Why should the good people in this world be made to live in the shadows? They are not asking to live there. On the contrary, they’ve been taught that by being good, well behaved, law abiding citizens that they should be the ones in the spotlight.
“You will be rewarded for being good.” Really? What’s the reward? A life, perhaps full of success, but one that no one sees? A life made up of good choices, that only a small handful of people, if any, will appreciate? A life of loneliness?
My son is one of the most well behaved people I know, and yet rarely does he get complimented on that. Rarely does he get attention. Rarely is he seen.
Sadly, he is far from the only one who lives such a life. As my mother pointed out, “It’s not just him. It’s often the good kids who don’t get into any trouble, but who do as they’re supposed to…the quiet and well behaved ones…They’re the ones who no one sees.”
Backwards isn’t it? I think so.
The Daily Post: Shadow