A thousand words…

True stories about real people

December 2011

Photo credit: Adrian Armaselu

         Take a good look at the picture above; a very careful look. What do you see? Let me guess: a Santa Claus, a little girl and a doll. Right?

         It was taken in December 2011. Obviously, Santa is not really Santa; he is a social worker who works with disabled children. Every year, although it wasn’t in the job description, he took it upon himself to find donations of toys, to clean them up and repair them (with the help of his co-workers), dress as Santa (take it from me, an adventure in itself) and put a smile on children’s faces (about 25 of them). That year wasn’t any different – or so it seems at first glance.

         Look again at the photo – specifically at Santa’s face. Have you noticed the expression in his eyes, his demeanour? Granted, the picture isn’t of high quality but, if you look closely, you can see it – a smile, a softness, something akin to a melted heart… Why do you think that is?

         Now take a look at the doll and at how are positioned his hands and the little girl’s. What could possibly have done a four years old little girl with Down syndrome to touch Santa in such a way? The simplest gesture. Do you see it now? She gave him her doll. When he tried to protest – “it is for you; why do you give it back to me?” – you know what her answer was? The most logical one:

“Because nobody gave you anything…”

         Let me say it again: a four years old girl with Down syndrome gives Santa her doll because she saw that he gave everybody a present, but nobody gave him one…

         It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. Sure enough, I could write all those words, but then again, would they be enough to capture the beauty, the innocence, the selflessness of that simple act? I think not.


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