Call me Pollyanna, but I believe in the future. I’m not giving up.
There is potential and it is in the hearts of children, some of them whose beginnings were nothing short of grim.
I believe that every child in this world has the potential to do great things. And regardless of the beginnings it is their middle and end that will save us. The one catch though is we as parents have got to stop stonewalling that potential. Look what happens when we allow ourselves to park the mini van, put the year round cleats in the closet for a season, stop trying to live our lives through our children, and just listen to them. They have a message for us. They have a message for our world.
“Free Hugs”. Two words on a sign and a child, making our disillusioned hearts grow three sizes, like a Grinch on Christmas Eve.
Clean water. Two words and a child speaking out for nameless villages across the world because he knows better than most people his age that where you live should not determine if you live.
Cupcakes. One word and a child bringing a smile to those who wander the streets with a little reminder of what is truly sweet in our world.
Hugs from Heaven. Three words and a child honoring her grandma by delivering bags filled with blankets, shoes, hats, and stuffed animals to babies in a NICU.
Shoes. One word and a child collecting 25,000 pairs of shoes for those who have none.
What do these children have in common? Someone listened to them. And then someone else listened to them. And then, movers and shakers listened to them. And then, the world listened to them.
We can give our kids balance. There is room for both extra curricular and service but the center pillar must be reality and the reality is if we don’t listen to our kids and give them a break in their scheduled-to-the-minute days to allow them to take action to be the change, that balance will permanently be tipped towards the ME rather than the WE that the change in this world so desperately needs. Change will never happen. I promise you that. It will never happen if you don’t just stop and listen to the children.
So tonight, instead of asking your kids what team they want to be on next ask them, “What do you want to do to change the world?” Ask them.
And then…just listen.