While we adults have a responsibility to care for children every day of every month, many of these kids fall through the cracks. July is a special time for recognizing both their immediate needs and future aspirations.
Ever heard of The Starfish Story?
A man is taking a solitary walk on the beach and notices the beach is littered with starfish; starfish which have washed ashore and which need water to survive. He also notices a little boy frantically running from beached starfish to beached starfish, picking each one up and throwing them back, one by one, into the ocean.
After walking for a few minutes, the man approaches the little boy and asks, “What are you doing?” And the little boy responds, “I’m throwing the starfish back into the water so they can live.” Gently and remorsefully the man shakes his head and tells the boy, “There are too many starfish, son. What difference will throwing a few back, make?”
The boy pauses for only a moment before bending over, retrieving another helpless starfish and flinging it gently back into the sea. “I made a difference to that one”
Adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
This wonderful story truly reminds us how important is to make the effect to be a ripple of change in the lives of the next generation. “Kids are resilient” has been a mantra that has been repeated for decades. Though true, we can’t ignore that our kids have endured some pretty crazy changes in their routine over these last 16+ months.
So how can you make a difference to a child? It’s not as difficult as you may think. Sometimes, L-O-V-E is spelled T-I-M-E. Spend quality time with the sprouts in your life. Read a book, go for a walk, go rock picking or bird watching, snuggle up with popcorn and a movie, or tell them stories of your childhood.
Kids don’t come with instruction manuals, but I do think I have a pretty good handle on the “secret sauce” of being the adult in a young person’s life.
The Secret Sauce
- Have lots of patience.
- Allow lots of time.
- And give lots of love.
Practice this formula and the rewards and peace of mind will be priceless. PLUS, you may not think this will change the world, but I can promise it will change the world of the child in your world.
So for National Make a Difference for Children Month, what will YOU do to make a difference to one child, one teacher, one author, one school?
Keep Calm and Read On!
Rebecca “Becky” Flansburg is an author, freelance writer, and project manager for the non-profit online children’s literacy initiative, Multicultural Children’s Book Day/ #ReadYourWorld. Join the celebration! Our 9th annual celebration will take place on January 28, 2022. For more information, visit Multicultural Children’s Book Day on the web.