Whole Story

†† Edward Frost ran away from home.The 4th grader, in A Dog on Barkham Street 1,lived next door to 6th grade bully, Martin Hastings.Day after day Martin seemed to pick on Edward for no apparent reason.In contrast, The Bully of Barkham Street2 retold the story through the eyes of Martin Hastings.When all the facts were given Martin was not the monster portrayed in the first book.Instead the reader comes to have compassion for Martin and admire his attempts to grow. Read together, the two books give a complete perspective to the reader.Either book read alone gives the wrong impression.


†† It is inevitable.Someone offends you.Perhaps it is a perceived snub, perhaps an unfortunate comment.A potential wall of separation is created between two members of the community.It is only potential because it is possible to knock it down before the cement hardens.


†† These are the precepts, the fruits of which man enjoys in this world, while the principal [reward] remains in the World to Come:Ö.bringing peace between man and his fellowman.3


†† Misunderstandings happen because people donít know the whole picture.For example, the kids in the neighborhood are scared of the mean man who wonít let anyone near his house or the lady down the street who is really a witch.The adults arenít scared, but are even friendly with them.They know the whole story.They know the man has little in his life except taking care of his yard and the elderly woman is just lonely.


†† I volunteer on the Crises Hot Line.Often the caller is angry with a relative or situation.In time you learn that they are really just scared of loss or losing control.It is easy to get upset at peopleís actions but chances they are really just very scared.They put up walls and prickles. The arrogant person is not a confident person.If he were confident he would not need to act that way.


†† Paraphrased Proverbs 18:174 says; A story sounds true until another comes along and tells the other side.There are 2 sides to everything.Consider all sides withboth wisdom and compassion.

1. A Dog on Barkham Street by Mary Stolz.

2. The Bully of Barkham Street by Mary Stolz.

3. Shabbat 127a.

4. Proverbs 18:17 Ė ďHe who pleads his case first seems just, but his neighbor comes††

††† and searches him out.Ē






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