Bright Heart|明亮的心


Last year around Halloween1, I was invited to participate in a carnival2 for Tuesday’s Child, an organization that helps children with the AIDS virus. I was asked to attend because I’m on a television show; I went because I care. I don’t think that most of the kids recognize me as a celebrity3. They just thought of me as a big kid who came to play with them for the day. I think I liked it better that way.
At the carnival they had all kinds of booths4. I was drawn to one in particular because of all the children that had gathered there. At this booth, anyone who wanted to could paint a square5. Later that square was going to be sewn together with the others, to make a quilt. The quilt would be presented to a man who had dedicated his life to6  this organization and would soon be retiring.
They gave everyone paints in bright, beautiful colors and asked the kids to paint something that would make the quilt beautiful. As I looked around at all the squares, I saw pink hearts and bright blue clouds, orange sunrise, green leaves and purple flowers. The pictures were all bright, positive and uplifting7. All except for one.
The boy sitting next to me was painting a heart, but it was dark, empty, lifeless. It lacked the bright, vibrant8 colors that his fellow artists had used.
At first I thought maybe he took the only paint that was left and it just happened to be dark. But when I asked him about it, he said his heart was that color because his own heart felt dark. I asked him why and he told me that he was very sick. Not only was he very sick, but his mom was very sick also. He said that his sickness was not ever going to get better and neither was his mom’s. He looked straight into my eyes and said, “There is nothing anyone can do that will help.”
I told him I was sorry that he was sick and I could certainly understand why he was so sad. I could even understand why he had made his heart a dark color. But... I told him that it isn’t true that there is nothing anyone can do to help. Other people may not be able to make him or his mom better... but we can do things like give bear hugs9, which in my experience can really help when you are feeling sad. I told him that if he would like, I would be happy to give him one so he could see what I meant. He instantly crawled into my lap and I thought my own heart would burst10 with the love I felt for this sweet little boy.
He sat there for a long time and when he had had enough, he jumped down to finish his coloring. I asked him if he felt any better and he said that he did, but he was still sick and nothing would change that. I told him I understood. I walked away feeling sad, but recommitted to this cause. I would do whatever I could to help.
As the day was coming to an end and I was getting ready to head home, I felt a tug11 on my jacket. I turned around and standing there with a smile on his face was the little boy. He said, “My heart is changing colors. It is getting brighter... I think those bear hugs really do work.”
On my way home I felt my own heart and realized it, too, had changed to a brighter color.

去年万圣节前后,我应邀参加了一个由“TUESDAY’S CHILD”主办的嘉年华会,该组织旨在帮助那些感染了艾滋病病毒的儿童。我之所以受邀是因为我是一个电视节目的主持人;我之所以参加是因为我也很关注他们。我想绝大多数孩子并不会把我当作一位名人。他们只会把我当作一个在这里陪他们玩的大孩子而已。我想我更喜欢这样。


1. Halloween n. (西方风俗)万圣节前夕(指10月31日,是夜儿童可以纵情玩闹)
2. carnival  n. 嘉年华会,狂欢节
3. celebrity  n. 名人
4. booth  n. 隔开的空间;亭子
5. square n. 方形,方格子
6. dedicate one’s life to... 把某人的一生献给…
7. uplifting  adj. 令人振作的
8. vibrant  adj. 有活力的
9. bear hugs 紧紧的拥抱
10. burst  v. 充满,胀裂
11. tug  n. 猛拉,拖