I read today that Ray Bradbury died. He was 91, so I suppose it wasn’t a surprise, but it is always sad when a light of insight is extinguished.
I remember the story “All Summer in a Day” that we read in junior high school. I have probably mentioned it before, but only because it twists my heart whenever I think of it. It was essentially about bullying, and maybe that’s why the teacher chose it, although I don’t remember any aha’s at the time. Kids already know other kids can be cruel. It was true in 1954 when the story was written, and it is true today.
The means of spreading cruelty are different, and faster, and other writers have explored these phenomena more deeply than I. All I want to say is that kids don’t come pre-wired. There are ringleaders, and maybe they have stronger propensities, but ganging up can’t happen without followers, and followers usually walk the best paved path. The way I see it, the path to cruelty is paved by adults. They bait and anger each other online, they gossip and form cliques at work, and they bully each other in politics.
But kids can just as easily follow kindness, especially when the leader is one of their own. I saw this demonstrated in the following video this week. Sure, kids can be cruel, but they can also try pretty hard to be great.
“I think the sun is a flower, that blooms for just one hour.” – All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury