Petfinder Featured Pet

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Be the Change You Want to See

Internet Explorer cannot display the Webpage. I have grown to seriously dislike seeing those words, especially when I am so eager to jump into my blog. It’s like getting your bathing suit on during your first day of a vacation, heading down to the hotel pool, and finding out the pool is closed for repairs. ARGH!

I drank an extra soda tonight for the caffeine so I could stay awake and have the energy to research and type another blog, only to discover that I cannot get online. So here I sit in Microsoft Word, waiting for an idea to pop into my head.

And it just walked through the door for the third time. Hello Connor.

My son is having a tough time going to sleep tonight. So instead of reading yet another book, for the first time ever, I started improvising. I started creating my own stories, very short stories, with the lights off, while he is lying down in bed, tucked in, and hopefully getting drowsier by the second. I have already improvised three stories, all starting the same way.

“Anudder once upon a time?” he said.

“Connor, you need to go to bed.” I said sternly with no intention of reading or making up another story. I am just not that creative.

“Pweathe?” he said with his hands on his hips, his belly out, his eyes squinting into little sideways crescent moons that make your heart melt.

Sigh…“Okay, let’s go.”

I tucked him into bed for the third time tonight, and I started the story off with those age old words that are so new and exciting to him.

“Once upon a time, there were two puppies. The puppies were playing in the yard outside their house one day when one of them went out into the road. Suddenly, a big tractor started coming down the road toward the puppy. You know what can happen if the puppy stays in the road, don’t you?”

Connor stopped and thought. He gets a really pensive look on his face. He is great at pondering and coming up with an answer that on occasion doesn’t quite fit the question.

“Puppy goeth to the houthe,” he said.

“Yes, the puppy needs to go to the house because the puppy can get hurt playing in the road. Right? All of a sudden, Spiderman comes swinging in from out of nowhere.(I continue being very dramatic.) He shoots his web, psssssssshhhhhhhhh, (and yes, I made my wrist do the Spiderman web shooting thingy) and the web wraps around the belly of the puppy (as I wrap my hands around Connor’s belly). Then Spiderman pulls the puppy out of the road and back into the yard. “

Now if you could see my son’s face at this point, you would just laugh. He is gasping in complete awww of the excitement of this wonderful story. It has everything he loves in it, Spiderman, puppies, tractors…ah, well I guess I did leave out the football.

“Then Spiderman and the two puppies sat in the yard and watched the tractor drive by their house. Spiderman and the two puppies waved to the tractor. (Yep, you guessed it, I waved) And the man driving the tractor waved back at them. The End.”

I kissed my son, who of course wanted another “Once upon a time”, but I insisted he go to sleep. Since I am still typing, I have not been interrupted again, so he must have finally gone to sleep.

I admit that I am not a terribly creative or imaginative person, or I am terrible at being creative or imaginative.  I was a TV kid growing up. People say that too much television leaves little room for a child to create their own fun, limits their imaginative growth, and shortens their attention span. If this is true, I am sure that this is also happening with the “new” technology of today… i.e. internet, videogames, Ipods, cell phones. Kids no longer need to invent games to play by themselves or with others. They just hop onto their Nintendo that they keep in their back pocket and play games. Instead of calling their friends, they will text them, even when in the same room. The amount of social interaction that kids are getting today is so limited for some, that I believe that is why many of these kids, when they find employment, don’t realize how important it is to smile, look at the customer in the eyes, and say “Thank you” or “Have a nice day.” Or when you say, “Thank you” or “Have a nice day”, to them, their response is “Yup”, instead of “Thank you. You too” said with a smile.

There is no need for a child to invent invisible friends. I can remember my Mom telling me she used to play in her back yard as a little girl and pretend she was married to Dick Powell of “Dante’s Inferno” fame. Not sure what “pretending to be married” entailed as a little girl, perhaps making him invisible supper, or waltzing around at an imaginative Ball, but it involved the imagination. Her choice of husband surprised me greatly as she was a huge Frank Sinatra fan, but obviously Dick was her man before she “met” Ol’ Blue Eyes. I wish I could ask her more about that.

There are a lot of people who are compassionate and caring and want things to change. That change could be political, social, or otherwise. And yet it is the minority of people who step up and try to help in making that change. Too few people realize that their small effort, combined with many other people’s small efforts, can create a big change. Is this lack of initiative also a result of too little social interaction? I just don’t know. I’m not sure anyone really does know.

I ask people who want change in animal care issues to write to their legislators regarding insufficient or absent laws. The response is often, “I am not a good writer”. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE! The legislators just want to know what their constituents want. Those legislators want to know your feelings on the issues they deal with daily. Perhaps your letter will open their eyes to a new perspective that they had not yet heard or considered. Just a small letter or email from a few people is huge in their world.

Perhaps you think your small town library needs new books, or shelves. Perhaps your town pool needs a make-over. Perhaps your volunteer firemen deserve a plate of brownies and a show of gratitude. Then you need to act. You need to commit to being the change you want to see. Perhaps you want your group of friends to get together more often. This may not seem to be a big deal, but it may create a support group that one of you may rely on some day. Find your desire, and help the project by getting some friends together, brainstorming ideas, and making them happen. Even the smallest change can bring about a big change. You might be surprised at how many people share the same interest or desire and they just need you to get them motivated.

My son doesn’t know that I am not a good story teller. He sat and listened and enjoyed the story I created. It made a huge difference to him. He thinks his Mom is Charles Dickens. You don’t have to be a professional at something to make a difference, but you have to start the story…

”Once upon a time… (Insert your passion here.)”

(Just an FYI... those of you who are Followers on this blog, thank you! If you want to receive the blog into your email inbox, you need to go to, and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. Wait for the blog to send you a confirmation email, then reply and you will receive the blog when it is published. Much easier than you going to look for it! Please, continue to follow and please subscribe!)

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Love the picture! He is so dang cute. I have emailed all the state reps who voted yes to the bill. I received a couple phone calls today about the mills and rescuing. It was nice they cared enough to call and ask questions. Keep up the blogging! I love it!