There are two ways to go through this life. You can be a planter, or you can be a tramper. Children are like young plants. They need the necessities of healthy foods and clean water to physically grow and, they need mental stimulation which they get in school and at home, but what about their spiritual growth.
Are we inspiring our young to reach past their limits or family traditions? I watch and listen to how adults deal with the young. We should be mindful of our words. I’ve mentioned this in an earlier post. Our thoughts and intentions can take on conscious form and, our words can be as sharp as a sword to an insecure child. Do we really want this to be our legacy?
When I meet adults who seem insecure, self-doubting, or afraid to speak their voice, I think to myself, “There was very little planting in her or his garden.” Did this person, as a child, constantly here remarks like this: “You can’t do this, because: you’re not smart enough, big enough, rich enough, white enough, male enough, female enough, etc. etc.” You get the idea. Trampers point out the negative aspects while planters point out the positive with words like these: “You can do this, if you study harder, if you’re persistent, if you believe in yourself.”
Planters will not use religion, gender, race or finances to discourage a child. A planter will say, “It might be hard, but you can do it.” It takes one seed to start that garden in a child. One encouraging word will inspire a child to reach above their capabilities. When that seed takes root, the spark of imagination that shows in a child’s eyes is breathless to behold.
The other day, I was selling my books at the Camden Comic Con. A group of children between the ages of eleven to thirteen stopped at my table to chat with me and a fellow writer. One of the girls asked me if I wrote the books that I was selling. I said yes. She wanted to know how I wrote the book. My reply, “I have all these stories inside me. I just write them down.” She nodded, but there were questions. I could see them in her eyes. I added, “You have a story inside you. Everyone does. Start writing your story.”
Her eyes lit up. I had planted the seed. She could write, too. This little girl’s eyes shone with excitement and she couldn’t wait to get home and try her hand at writing. I hope I encouraged all the children in that group to spread their wings and not take “NO” for an answer.
I hope I also encouraged the little girl with the sad eyes. When I told her to write down her story, her eyes lit up, but then the frown returned. Was she a victim of trampling? I hope not. I hope the seed took hold in her heart. I hope to see her selling her own books one day. Are you a planter or a tramper?