“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. first lady
Years ago, when I was in school to become a social worker, I was taught a truth that has never left me. I remember my professor in human development looking at us earnestly, and with great conviction saying, “You must remember that if a person has one – only one person in their lives who they feel truly believes in them and supports them – then they have enough of a foundation to become a successful human being.” Those words hit me like a hammer. All it takes is one…
The truth is that we all have the power to change someone’s story. We can make a difference in the success or failure of another person’s life simply by investing in them and communicating our support and belief in their goals. To me, there is no better place to start this effort than in the life of a child. In the words of JFK, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”
I want to share with you a great example of how this can be done. In my life there is a wonderful boy named Jack. Jack is sort of a nephew/grandson. I am not technically his aunt or grandmother, but I feel like I am, and that is what matters. Jack is one of those “energizer bunny” kinds of kids. He is extremely bright and super charged with energy. He is the kind of boy who can exhaust those of us who run on regular old drugstore batteries. Jack is also a super sensitive little guy. He listens to everything, and catches the nuances in conversations, even when you think he doesn’t. His heart is very tender (as are most children’s hearts) and must be dealt with carefully and with consideration. We call Jack “the mayor” because he is friendly, confident and outgoing with everyone, regardless of their size or status. Jack is just a wonderful human being waiting to happen.
In addition to attending first grade and keeping up with his mayoral duties in the neighborhood, Jack also has a keen business sense and an entrepreneurial drive that is unstoppable. His passion in life is running “Jacks Candy Stand.” Rain, shine, sleet, or snow, Jack is unrelenting in his desire to set up shop and sell! It does not matter to Jack that the temps are dipping or the skies are dripping, to him it is a perfect time to go to work.
I believe that this is actually what life is supposed to be like for all of us. We find something that we love and we do it whole-heartedly all of our lives. Imagine a world full of people who are passionate about what they do and living fulfilled lives. No dead end jobs and frustrated souls! The key to this is identifying what it is you love to do and feeling supported in doing it. How many inventors and artists have ended up at desk jobs because no one believed in them? We have to have hope that life will give us a chance to “be” what we long to be. We also have to make room for that to happen. We have to break away from the robotic routine that we are so easily sucked into and reach for more.
To help Jack pursue his dream, his mom and dad faithfully support him by letting him set up his stand in the front yard. Recently, his dad took the next step in showing Jack that he believes in his dream. He ordered business cards! And a t-shirt, ball cap, lawn sign and car magnet! His Dad used an affordable online printing service, Vistaprint, to create a logo and a few perfect marketing pieces for Jack. Can you imagine the thrill Jack will have when he puts on his uniform, sinks his lawn sign, and starts handing out cards?
We all want someone to believe in us and support us. We all need that “one person” in our lives. I am convinced that Jack is more likely to reach his goals in life because of such support. Ask yourself who you can support and believe in. Whose life can you change? And if you don’t have that one person in your own life, don’t despair, become a “believer” for someone else and see how it changes you. Don’t forget: Goodness begets Goodness.
A Good Idea:
Think about practical ways you can support your child, your spouse, a friend, or coworker. Make a first step by telling that person something positive about their dreams. If you don’t know what the hopes and dreams of your friends and family are – then there is your place to start!
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Dr. Seuss