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The Magic Button

There was a young person who more than anything in the world desired the gift of healing.


As a child, she would tell everyone that one day she would be a healer. Her parents would say, "it's ok to dream, but people like us are builders we are not healers.


The townspeople would smile politely pat her on the head and say that one day she would see how the world worked. They would say that "everyone grows up one day and takes their designated place in society."


As the years past, her dreams grew ever darker. She convinced herself that perhaps her type of person was just never meant to be a healer, and maybe she should consider planning for a real future, one that was better suited for a person like herself.


She fell in line and began living as her people always had and perhaps always should. She soon learnt the routine. Rising before the sun every day and set out for another day on the building site. With every day, the light of what could be dwindled inside her.


On a day like any other, she set out convinced that today would be a day like any other. Today she found herself shoulder to shoulder with an old man she had never seen before. As her eyes fixed on his face, she noticed the rough exterior and deep lines in his face that spoke of the years spent under the brutal sun—the big, rough, worn hands from years of wielding the tools of his trade. The curve in his back telling the tale of heavy loads and many hours spend bending at labour. She thought for a moment, "am I looking into a mirror? Is this what becomes of people like me."


She was torn from her reflection when a moment of hesitation saw him miss his mark. As he raised a heavy hammer, he brought it down on one of his worn hands. The cold steel ate into his paper-thin skin. Resulting in a sharp pain that drove him to his knees.


Without hesitation, the young person caught him midfall, gently set him down and reached for the injured hand. Without a word, she washed the wound from a bottle of water she carried on her waist and skillfully wrapped the wound in a clean piece of cloth she always carried in her chest pocket. For a moment, her heart was on fire; she felt a tingle reverberate throughout her body.


With a deep sigh that spoke of love lost, she turned to continue her labour. As she turned, she found herself startled by a steel grip that folded around her shoulder. A grip that seemed out of place from the injured figure that reached up and grabbed her.


As she turned, her eyes met two deeply set dark eyes buried beneath the wisdom of a life of hard living. Those eyes held wisdom beyond the station of the man. As he held her gaze, he reached inside his pocket and produced a bright blue button. Placing it in her hand, he simply said, "this button unlocks the deepest desire of anyone who wears it, it's my gift to you for what you have done this day".


While still holding her gaze, he then said, "go and do, believing that the button will make up for what is not possible."


She put down her hammer to build and lifted up her hands to heal from that moment forward.


She never forgot that her type of people were not healers; they would always only be builders. In that moment she would reach inside her coat tightly, wrapping her hand round the button, allowing her fear to be drawn into the power of the button. The button was the mask that concealed her deepest secret.


With that confidence, she went about healing all those who crossed her path. As she moved from village to village, she soon became renowned for her work. She knew that as long as she had the button, no one would ever know that she was only a builder.


After some time, she received a call that there was a man in the adjacent village who was dying of an unknown illness and that it was said that she was perhaps the only person who could help.


As she entered the house, upon the bed lay the old man who's the hand she mended those years back. Around his bed stood the most important people from the surrounding villages.


She realized that this was no normal man. The man who lay on the bed, who had chosen to spend his days as a builder was from a royal family.


At that moment, it became apparent that everyone would discover that she was only a builder and that all these years, she did not possess the ability to heal. The man on the bed who gave her the button would uncover her secret when he recognized who she was.


She was about to be exposed before all the Elders of all the villages.


Her greatest shame and worst fear had come true. Everyone would discover that she was in fact, an imposter.


When summoned by the elders, she slowly walked to old man's bedside feeling like a child awaiting its punishment. When she arrived at the bed, what lay before her was the shell of a man. The only thing that had not changed was the deep, dark penetrating eyes that stared up at her.


With a voice that showed no resemblance of the fragile frame, he asked, "have you finally come to return my button".


With reluctance, she reached inside her coat, pulling the button loose and placing it in his fragile hand. With deep emotion and immense shame, she acknowledged that perhaps it was time to return to her station in life as a builder.


With a deep resonating voice that demanded the attention of all within the sound thereof, he asked, "have you learned nothing!". There was not a sound to be heard in the room as all knew he had more today.


The hard-weathered face softened but that all-knowing shine remained in his eyes. Softly now so that only those paying attention could hear he said, "the button did not make you a healer, it just fooled you to move past the limitations of others and embrace your real potential". "You have and will always be a healer. The choice is whether you choose to continue to hide in builders shell".


In silence, she walked away from the old man's side leaving the shiny blue button in the hand of the man who gave her permission to dream of a future beyond the intergenerational golden shackles of the past.


There was no going back to the forge where those shackles were formed. The road she walked lay in a straight path towards a future that was yet to be determined.



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