In the Shadows

shadow

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

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Autism - Within the Walls, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to In the Shadows

  1. That is backwards, you are right.

    Like

  2. People like your son grow up to be the thinkers of the world. It may not be obvious now, but because he is an observer, and a quiet learner, he will have lots of things figured out as he grows up—far more than the rambunctious, loud children who get all of the attention. I appreciate your concern, because you want the best for him, but unless he is the focus of bullying, he should be allowed to be himself—a resourceful, self directed individual who may be quiet, but is strong and successful, and someone who is learning in his own way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      Oh trust me. I completely agree with you. I would want nothing else than for him to be himself and he soaks in a ton of information that others miss out on, because they don’t sit long enough to hear it. But, it’s when I hear him him confess, “I get lonely,” because very few take the time to talk to him – that’s what bothers me. Everyone else goes about their day, enjoying the company of others, going out of their way to bring smiles to other peoples’ faces, while never realizing that in the meantime he’s sitting *right* there watching – wondering why they don’t want anything to do with him. His hurt pains me. But at the end of it all, I have no doubt that he will be successful, and even though no one else may take the time to see it, I know how amazing he is.

      Like

  3. joey says:

    It IS backwards, yes. “Squeaky wheel gets the oil” and all that. The good kid is often the least appreciated, the least catered to, and the most overlooked. Sadly, this transfers to adulthood as well, where some people live badly and come out smelling like roses. Don’t make me quote Yeats.
    Mind boggling.

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      You are absolutely right about that. It can and often does follow them into adulthood. Five minutes of the news proves that. But, the bad guy is never the bad guy. He always has a ‘good reason’ for his behavior. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. DailyMusings says:

    so terribly backwards. I have a boy in my first grade class who flies easily under the radar because he is so quiet. The head teacher and I make sure not to let it happen with us or his classmates. So important to be on top of it in my opinion

    Like

  5. That is backwards. But I will bet there are more who see the quiet, well behaved people, than you think. I know when I ‘people watch’ I’m not intrigued by the loud and rambunctious (though they may me smile if they are happy and joyful). But I am intrigued by the quiet, working, studying, behaving people. They make me want to know what they’re thinking, what they’re working on in life. And the quiet ones paying attention and being respectful? They make me smile. 🙂

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      That’s a good point. They may not get the attention that the others get, but I’m sure they’re seen. They’re the ones who stick out from the rest – the mysterious ones. I try to give attention and kuddos to all those children I see who behave well. They need to know that they don’t have to be like everyone else. Thank you for seeing them too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. April says:

    I was going to say it was because the kids aren’t as mature, but adults also behave as if ‘the quiet, good ones’ don’t exist. In a classroom that is usually overcrowded, I can imagine that the teacher is exhausted keeping the unruly under wraps. My kids had a teacher who gave each child a week to share their lives. They had a little bulletin board where they could bring in pictures and they got to be front in line…..all that kind of stuff. However, by the time they reached junior high and high school, the same thing happened…the unruly get the attention and the good are basically invisible. My opinion, it is bad for self-confidence. I wish all could notice ‘the invisible’ because they have so much to add to life.

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      You are absolutely right about being the adults as well. Oftentimes, from what I’ve seen, it’s more often the adults who do this. Kids will talk to practically anyone…given the right opportunity of course. I agree that is does a number on self confidence and that can carry well into adulthood. The quiet ones are the thinkers – they do have a lot to add to life indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. amommasview says:

    I see the frustration and I see why you question it. I do wonder though: Is it that bad to be unseen? I mean, yes, we need to be seen in order to get to certain points in our lives. But do we want to reach them if it means we have to do something that is not us just so we get noticed? Does meaning unseen really stands for not being liked? If that is the case we really live in a sad world… But nevertheless: It shows the character and strength of all of those unseen people who still stick to their grounds and do not turn into obnoxious little or big idiots just to finally be noticed…

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      Aside from the loneliness and the feeling of being disliked that it can cause, I can’t say that being unseen is all bad. I certainly don’t think that the unseen should become brats in order to be seen. We need good, quiet, focused people in this world. Not liked? I firmly believe that for some that is exactly the case, but what can you do? Many people, unfortunately, don’t like what they don’t understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #21 | A Momma's View

  9. Miriam says:

    What a great post and unfortunately I think you might be right. My son is much like yours, quiet, a deep thinker and perhaps one who worries too much but he always does the right thing. He’s very smart but rarely gets noticed. I agree that it’s kind of backwards but I think your son will grow up to be a wonderful person and make a difference to the world in his own way. And that’s what matters.

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      You are absolutely right – “in his own way.” People are meant to be different from one another. We need that uniqueness in the world. Your son, I’m sure, will make his own difference in the world as well. I do wish though, that they would get a little more credit for being such good kids, rather than be overlooked. But, at least they have us to praise them and to let them know that they’re on the right path AND that it’s okay to not be like everyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You are so right. I have several of the quiet, good kids. I have to remind myself to speak my appreciation for them instead of only verbalizing when they do step out of line. Thanks for making me think today.

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      That’s an excellent point too, one that I’ve seen happen often. It’s easy to speak up when they do wrong simply because it makes our blood boil, but when they do right…it’s just another day in the “Smith” family home.

      Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s