As I was riding home the other day, my two oldest children started arguing over who was going to tell me a story. It reminded of a time when I was eight years old. My mom and I had been somewhere looking at birthday cards and found one that I found hilarious. I honestly cannot even remember what it said now. Anyhow, at some point after we got home, my cousin Tommy came over. At the time he was 17. I was so excited to tell him about the card and how funny it was but I botched the story. The narrating skills of an eight year old are not the greatest. Therefore, my mom decided to step in and tell it for me. I was so upset. I ran into the kitchen, sat at the table and pouted. I wanted to tell that story!! Well, Tommy came into the kitchen and asked me to tell him about the card. Being the stubborn child that I was, I told him no, he’d already heard it. I will never forget the smile on his face when he looked at me and said, “But I want to hear you tell it”. And he sat there and listened to me tell a story about a card and laughed like it was the first time he’d ever heard it. Tommy passed away four years later in a car accident. Maybe that is why that memory is so vivid. For whatever reason it’s so easy to recall, I am glad that I had that one moment with him. To anyone else, it might be minor and insignificant compared to other things, but to me that one moment was the world. To this day, I still find it amazing that a seventeen year old with so many other things to do wanted to listen to the ranting of an eight year old.
I think everyone could take a lesson from this. Take the time to listen to the children around you. Let them express themselves in whatever way they can. It might not change the world at that very second, but it could mean the world to them, and that could someday change the world. It always seems to be the little moments that have the biggest impact.