I believe that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. Sure, Mary Poppins might not be the most reliable source for forming beliefs, especially considering the dancing penguins, the bottomless carpetbag, and the real life sidewalk chalk, but in reality, numerous circumstances exist where this simple singsong philosophy applies perfectly.
After eighth grade, my parents went through an unexpected divorce. Leaving a scar on everyone in the family, the divorce caused my mother, two brothers, and me to leave our home in California. This move would mark my lifetime fifth, and the school I would be going to the next year would be the fourth different school in four years. I felt foundationless, nervous, and worst of all, abandoned. Leaving California and beginning a new life brought mixed emotions of apprehension and terror within the bitterest antidote to the pain in the family.
Yet, we needed the medicine, regardless of the discomfort. The best solution to the unfortunate predicament required the closure of the wounds back in California. Embracing the wisdom of Mary Poppins, woman wonder, I reluctantly accepted the truth and began my search for sugar.
Only then, I realized the significance of just a spoonful of sugar. I did not need a bag of sugar, or even a cup. The smallest amount of brightness and faith sustains and fills the largest need for something sweet. My salvation came in the form of friends. They all offered me homes, places of security and comfort, and open arms and ears for whenever I needed to talk. They reminded me about the good things about life, the small things, things that matter. Cross-country practice became a reason to wake up in the morning with a smile and sunshiny outlook on the upcoming day. Without their support and perspective, I still would be wallowing in sadness and self-pity.
Throughout the entire consequences of this experience, I gained some of the most valuable knowledge about people and the world in general. I believe that everyone needs to find the sugar in their life; even just one crystal, one little bit of happiness, assuages the sour side effects of the crimson medicine. Once I found my sugar, my sanity, amongst my numerous friends, the move lost most of its initial dread and pain. I found the ones who make me laugh, the ones who do not judge, the ones who are not afraid to listen, the ones who accept me for my own being and flaws. I now possess exponentially more happiness, fulfillment and strength.
Everyone experiences their own times of trouble that no amount of medicine, or sugar, could conceivably make tolerable. But when a child’s face lights up upon receiving a Christmas present, when children cry for joy at the prospect of a textbook, when a homeless man rings the bells outside the grocery store, I see the astonishing forms that both medicine and sugar take. Listen to Mary Poppins and her infinite wisdom about life. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.