Posts tagged ‘children’

October 16, 2012

What You Can Learn from Your 6-year old Self

My parents taught me not to judge a book by it’s cover. As a child, I certainly took that life lesson to heart. When I was six years old, I made friends with everyone. Age, religion, race, social status, sexuality just didn’t matter to me. Chances are it didn’t matter to most six years old. That’s why it shouldn’t have come of much surprise when I made friends with an eleven year old girl who lived in the same complex I did. Not only was she five years older than me, but she was deaf and mute. (That’s where the surprise came in) It didn’t matter that we didn’t understand each other or that we were years apart. All we saw in each other was a playmate and a best friend.

Of course, there were those who probably thought that it was impossible to build a strong a relationship when you couldn’t even communicate with each other. After all, she was a deaf eleven year old and I was a six year old that didn’t understand sign language. But that didn’t matter. We showed each other the world. She taught me how to do cartwheels and things she learned in gymnastics and I taught her how to play card games and things I did in Girl Scouts. We were inseparable and had a strong bond.

As we grew older we started to drift apart and then she moved away. However, our frienship hasn’t been forgotten. I often wonder how she is and look back in awe at how close we had become. Even though, I was the one in the middle of this fairytale friendship it was like one of the eight wonders of the world to me. For some reason, I couldn’t get over the fact that all we had in common was our address and the shared desire to play. I couldn’t help but ask myself, why everything can’t be that simple. And then I realized everything is that simple. Oddly enough, it took my reflecting on my life as a six year old to realize that.

There will always be obstacles, differences, and hardships. However, those obstacles and differences always seem much bigger than they are because we make it that way. Rather than focusing on the obsolete, it would be wise to focus on the greater good. There will always be a solution. And there will always be a way out of the tunnel. If not, there really isn’t a problem. So stop stressing yourself out. And stop making a problem bigger than it is. Chances are there is a simpler route and a solution but you’ve blinded yourself from it.

It would have been easy for my childhood friend and I to refuse to cross pasts because of our obvious dissimiarities. We could have chosen to predict unforseen problems with building a friendship based on something as shallow as playtime and avoided it. However, we chose to build something meaningful based on our shared common ground. It’s a premise that can and should be applied to romantic relationships, professional relationships, family life, etc.

Rather than dissect every situation until there is nothing left, we should accept every situation for what it is and make the best of it. After all, that’s how friendship is made and opportunities are seized. It’s hard to believe that it was a life lesson I understand at such a young age, but took twenty years for me to grasp. Turns out the wide-eyed and innocent children know a little more than we think… Silence the voices and the differences and just let your inner child speak.

What life lessons have you learned from your youth?

TERRIfic Quip: Everything is simple. We make it difficult.

July 11, 2012

Have you seen this child?

Missing Child From New Jersey: Ofir Ben-Haim

You see the words in commercials during Eyewitness News. You used to seem them on sides of milk cartons. But I’m willing to bet you will never see this child, because you aren’t paying attention. Rather than taking a few seconds to walk by the bulletin board while grocery shopping, you turn a blind eye to the issue. And that’s the problem with America. Nobody cares until they are the ones in trouble.

Imagine you are the mother of a precious baby girl. You place her basinet in the shopping cart while browsing the grocery store. After going through a few aisles, you finally find that brand of cereal that you have a coupon for. While bending over to pick up the box, you accidentally knock down more cereal boxes. Being the considerate shopper that you are, you quickly place your desired box in the cart, and then turn your back again to pick up the cereal boxes you knocked over. After cleaning up your mess, you stand up to check on your sleeping baby and continue your shopping. Except there is one problem. Your innocent child has been taken out of your cart in the few seconds you had your back turned. Suddenly, your jovial demeanor quickly turns to panic.

Regardless of how good a parent, sibling, or babysitter you are, a situation like this can happen to anyone. Yet, no one takes a moment to help out unless they know the child personally. Unfortunately, the handful of people they do know just doesn’t seem like it’s enough to scour the ends of the earth to find that missing child. In the back of their minds, they know the truth. “I never took the time to help find a missing child I didn’t know, so why would I expect other people to help me?” Of course, by the time they realize the error of their ways it’s too late. They are left to depend on the kindness of strangers that are few and far between to return the missing child to the home.

That problem must end now. Each and every time, I go grocery shopping, visit Wal-Mart, or find myself in the store with a Missing Kids board, I dedicate at least five minutes to reading the descriptions of the people on it. It may seem impossible, but I could be the one responsible for returning a child over to their parents. After all, impossible things happen everyday. Imagine how much sooner families can be reunited if everyone dedicated a few minutes of their day to paying attention to the missing kids alerts. In the event I do find myself in that situation one day, it will comfort my heart knowing that somewhere in the world, there are other people like me that care just as much as I do about looking at those Missing Kids bulletin boards and returning the child home as I do.

Join me and help bring kids back home:

1. Join the Poster Partners program

Sign up to get posters of missing children in your area emailed to you once a week. Print them out and display the posters around your community.

2. Stop and Look

Dedicate a few minutes of your shopping experience to looking at the bulletin of missing people around the country.

3. Watch videos on Youtube

Visit YouTube and spend a few minutes watching the videos of missing children on the Don’t You Forget About Me channel.

4. Encourage retailers

Talk to the managers at your favorite stores about dedicating a spot to displaying Missing Kids posters. (I’ve been trying to encourage WalMart of Old Bridge, NJ managers to move their Missing Kids bulletin to a more prominent location in the store. Right now, it is in the corner near the bathrooms and customer service.)

5. Get Amber Alerts

Sign up to get Amber Alerts sent to your cell phone.

Do you pay attention to the Missing Kid bulletin boards? What do you do to help return children to their families?

TERRIfic Quip:  I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody.