This incident happened a few years ago. And yet, it still brings me warmth andjoyful feeling everytime I remember it... Just one reason to share to you... Several months ago, I was asked to report to the Guidance Counselor of mychildren's school due to an incident involving my 14 year old daughter. I was toldthat she and two of her classmates engaged in a verbal fight with anotherclassmate. But I soon found out that my daughter was not really involved but wasjust a witness to a slapping incident of her closest friend, which she tried tobreak up. (To be clear about itLthough, I am not a very strict parent. But I amalso not one who lets my kids run away with murder. When my children do misbehave,I let the school authorities reprimand them and apply the best penalty.)Anyways, the girls who attacked each other were once very closed. In fact, therewere many occasions when they were together in our house all giggly, apparentlyhaving a swell time. The friendship was shattered as I found later on because ofsome malicious and intriguing gossips and worse - envy. The girls were relentlessin accusing each other of betraying each other's trust and confidence. I alsoheard them based their anger on unconfirmed rumours. As I sat there with the otherparents, I was reminded of how our children mirror our way of thinking. Each childspoke of being misunderstood, of being unheard, of being distrustful, and of beingafraid. While watching and listening to the drama unfolding, it suddenly dawned onme the same fear I was experiencing before. The fear of being rejected, of beingjudged and being alone.My reverie was cut-off when my daughter suddenly apologized to everyone in theroom (including me) of how she must have hurt other people's feelings. She wasvery emotional and couldn't stop crying while the rest of the girls were dry-eyedand raising their eyebrows. I asked why she was crying when it wasn't her fault.She said in a quavering voice, "It's because I'm aware of the change that's goingto happen. And I'm sad because I wasn't ready for the breakup of our group. And Ifeel miserable knowing I've hurt somebody with my words. I should have listened toyou, mommy, I could have been more compassionate...I could have saved ourfriendships by stopping the rumor but I did not and I'm afraid it's too late..Icould have been more mature in my actions but I did not...I acted irresponsibly...I'm sorry..."Her answer astounded me. Honestly, I did not "expect" that my 14 yr old would beas bold and as courageous in accepting her role in the creation of the problem.Without blaming anyone but herself, she allowed herself to become truthful.Knowing how stubborn her personality was, and how she hates being in the center ofit all, it was a revelation. I stood up and embraced her almost choking with myown words. I told her it was alright, that she is already forgiven. Her teachersgently pacified her. I have never been more proud standing there in the middle ofthe room.Later that night, my daughter and I had a very long talk about what happened andwhat might happen in school. She told me about her fears, about her wishes and herdreams. She confided to me her confusion of why she felt different from the othergirls. She noticed she is more serious about life and so felt a little out ofplace. I learned that she would rather be alone and read a book than to listen togirls talk about boys or crushes. And this made some of her friends uneasy. Sheasked me why she becomes very emotional at times and would cry at a drop of a pin.I explained to her that this is because she is ALIVE, that she sees, and feels,and smells and hears and understands life as it is. That she is emphatical andfeels compassion. That she is a very gifted person with a wonderful soul. I couldsee the light shining in her eyes as she intently listens to me. I shivered...knowing her spirit is there willing and ready to learn, to know and understand.