The Little People

dean con dantos

(cc) Hugh Ryan McDonald

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove … but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

That quote is taken from a motivational poster I saw several years ago entitled “Priorities”. The picture on the poster was of a little boy, hands in his back pockets, standing at the edge of a lake looking out over the water. The picture and quote served as a gentle, eloquent reminder to me of the importance of paying attention to the little people — the children — because by doing so we are paying attention to the future!

Whitney Houston sang this theme in one of her songs a few years back: “I believe that children are our future”. Whitney was right.

(cc) hibino - Flickr

(cc) hibino - Flickr

Right now, sleeping somewhere under a Mickey Mouse blanket, or riding a bicycle with training wheels, or perhaps making mudpies somewhere in rural America … is the little boy or little girl who, thirty or forty years from now, will be President of the United States of America.

Right now, swinging on swing-sets and sliding down slides and spinning on merry-go-rounds all over the world, are the little boys and little girls who will be the teachers, preachers, politicians, mothers, fathers, scientists, and decision-makers in a few short years.

One of them may finally find the cure for cancer.

One of them may figure out how to maintain just the right balance between human progress and the preservation of our environment.

Hopefully, one or more of them will help us figure out how to rid the world of the sin of racial bigotry once and for all.

They will explore new worlds, make new discoveries, soar to new heights. They will be the leaders of the world!

Albert Einstein, age 3 (Wikipedia)

Albert Einstein, age 3 (Wikipedia)

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Louis Pasteur, Madame Curie, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt — all these great men and women of historical significance were once little boys and girls, asking endless questions of their mommies and daddies.

  • Why is the sky blue?
  • Where do rainbows come from?
  • Do fish get thirsty?

Those are important questions, not because they have great philosophical significance; but because they come out of the mouths and minds of tender little people who want more than anything else to be important to a big person. For those of us who are big people, there are few gifts, so simple to give, that can have as profound an impact on our world.

“I believe that children are our future.
Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Show them all the beauty they possess inside.”

This article is dedicated to teachers — people who have made a difference and are making a difference in this world by being important to children, and by making children an important priority in their daily lives.

THANK YOU, TEACHERS! Please don’t ever stop reminding us that we can change the world by taking the time to pay attention to the children.
Paul O'Rear Signature

Photo Credits:

  1. dean con dantos, by brightroyalty (Flickr), Creative Commons License.
  2. Mickey Mouse Blanket, by hibino (Flickr), Creative Commons License.
  3. Albert Einstein, by unknown (Wikipedia), Public Domain.

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