A few days ago, I was sitting on the edge of my top bunk, swinging my legs and reading a book that I borrowed from the pod’s library tote. “What’s poppin’ bruh?” Lil Boii interrupted me.
Remembering when I was his age, I understood the young man’s impulsive behavior. “What’s going on, lil bruh?” I said as I placed my book mark on the page I was reading. When I closed the book and shifted my focus to Lil Boii, he wandered his head with a mischievous smirk, as if he was disturbing me to satisfy his boredom. “Whatchu bout to do, big bruh?” Lil Boii asked. I smiled and shook my head. “I know he saw me reading” I thought without losing my patience. “Read!” I said.
The conversation was going in the wrong direction, so rather than to allow Lil Boii’s disturbance test my humbleness, I dared to turn a negative intention into a positive outcome. I went on to explain to Lil Boii the literary benefits and wisdom that he can inherit from reading. “Go find a good book – urban or whatever – to read” was what I encouraged him to do. Lil Boii was listening to what I had to say, but after a few minutes or so he grew bored again. I would’ve wasted my breathe had I continued speaking to him.
As I concluded my short lecture, I expressed to Lil Boii my interest to help him. We bumped fists and exchanged goodbyes.
I felt good about the way I handled the situation – it was like a wave of joy passing through my soul. However, instead of Lil Boii walking away to go find something productive to do, he stood there with a confused look on his face. I helped him, of course. Leading by example, I reopened the David Baldacci’s bestseller, removed my book mark, then resumed reading what was a great novel.