Warning: This poem is paired with "The Strength to Persevere," each revealing how the characters think about themselves and each other, but in mirror images -- there are things they haven't figured out how to communicate yet. They have some rough emotional history which may cause headspace issues for readers who've had similar experiences. The tone of the actual poems is positive, though; these folks are very good for each other.
Spoiler alert! These poems are based on characters Glyn and Ruggiero, created by myself and dialecticdreamer, already introduced elsewhere ... but these are "in the future" compared to what has actually been published as of 2/20/15, and based on some stuff that is still in development. So if you only read series in their internal-chronological order, make a note of these to be read later.
"The Treasure of Happiness"
Ruggiero knows that Glyn
does not really understand
the scope of her own worth.
She is too used to being told
to be still, to be quiet, to be good,
to be somewhere else.
She does not realize how smart she is,
how quick, cutting through problems
like the flick of a knife's blade.
Most of them are little things,
so far, but she herself is young and
still has some growing to do.
The bigger ones, well, she doesn't know
that some of those could save lives
and isn't ready to hear it so he hasn't said.
Glyn hovers around, being helpful,
trying to make herself useful, and
the implications of that still sting.
Ruggiero hopes that she's doing it,
at least a bit, because she likes to
or genuinely wants to make them happy.
So he lets her keep doing things,
because if nothing else she seems to need it,
and it does bring them the treasure of happiness.
Even though she's American, not Italian,
she feels like a little taste of home,
and he could love her for that alone.
It reminds him of the time when he was young,
swimming in the sea with the other children
of the Family, and found a gold coin.
It was sunken treasure from a wrecked pirate ship,
buried in sand and mud, but when he picked it up,
that all washed away leaving pure gold bright as the sun.
Only later did Ruggiero come to understand
that Il Dottore had seen him that way,
something precious to be found with gratitude.
He discovered, too, why the Family
viewed all of their foundlings that way,
and so he called Glyn tesora.
She doesn't understand it yet --
how could she, after all she'd been through? --
and yet she accepts it from him.
When she asks, "Why do you want me around?
I do what I can to help out, but I don't
know if it's ever really enough ..."
he tucks her head under his chin and replies,
"Believe in our connection, tesora, if not in yourself.
You are my treasure. It is always enough."
* * *
"Try to make at least one person happy every day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word. If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought. Count up, if you can, the treasure of happiness that you would dispense in a week, in a year, in a lifetime!"
-- Lawrence G. Lovasik
The idea that "children should be seen and not heard" is one example of age discrimination. Such emotional neglect and/or abuse can cause problems. There are ways to overcome that.
Self-worth is the appreciation of one's own virtues, talents, and contributions. Emotional maltreatment contributes to low self-worth, which has negative impacts. There are ways to build self-worth in yourself or in young people. Here's a handy worksheet for tracking interactions that raise or undermine self-worth.
Happiness is the appreciation of good things in your life. There are many ways to make people happy. One of them is being happy yourself, because happiness tends to spread. So here are some tips on being happier.
Tesora is Italian for "treasure," with the feminine ending -a.