I am always thrilled to be invited to talk to local students about the rights of the child and about the common needs of children around the world to help them discover the shared ground among all people. I stand before classrooms filled with eager third-graders, and I declare that we are all connected.
I declare that no action is too trivial and that no one person is too insignificant to create positive change in his/her community—be it the school community, the local community, or the global community! From a small act of kindness that changes someone’s day to a small act of kindness that changes someone’s world, I stress that small can be BIG.
I show pictures of school construction projects that make learning and playing possible for children in Guatemala. I share stories of health projects that allow children in Africa to visit doctors and receive treatments.I fumble with beakers of blue-tinted water to demonstrate how together we are creating a ripple!
And, at the end of it all, at the end of our virtual trip around the globe, the single most popular question is consistently, “So, how did you turn that water blue?” Because, you know what? The rest of it, the idea that they can have an impact, the notion that they can create positive change—kids know this stuff! Sure, they get inspired and motivated by hearing the stories, but they innately get it. And they believe it. Without reservation. And that’s the best part!
They don’t yet wonder if they can change the world, they simply ponder in what way they will choose to leave their mark. Kids are good like that.
We should all strive to be kids at heart. Children tend to believe and dream big. They love unconditionally. They are fearless. They are curious. They ask for help. Basically, kids are born philanthropists.
It’s National Philanthropy Day. Go ahead, Act like a child. And feel good about it.