" 'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real, you don't mind being hurt.' "
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT
During my research on picture books, I had come across this title several times, and every time it just wasn't the right book for the blog theme (no rabbit or toy posts, yet). So I'd always missed reading this 'classic.'
But last week, after a lesson with my Korean kid, I spotted this book again. It stuck out on the library shelf, and I thought I'd give it a go.
And goodness, that rabbit toy thing became the highlight of my week. An absolute five-star.
But when you're Real, you don't mind being hurt.
I do mind being hurt. But I also understand being hurt is part of the flow of this world. There must be a way to walk through pain and suffering, however little, however much, to take it all in, and be honestly accepting of all of it.
I don't know how it's done. The spiritual guru I read, Thich Nhat Hanh, would have an answer. Might have something to do with the roses and rotten cabbages in our lives.
Perhaps, like the velveteen rabbit, I shouldn't pin too much hopes on letting others define me as Real. Let me find out my Real self, my waking-upon-dreaming self, my clearest self, first.
And ... we'll see how everything else goes.
One step at a time.
I wasn't born Real. I was born.
I'll watch and hear my Real self. I'll let Real happen to me.
Have you read THE VELVETEEN RABBIT? Do you love what it does to you, too?
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.