Inspiration comes in many forms, a beautiful view, a close friend, or a even a good book, but often it is what we don’t see that has the most impact on us.
Recently, we had an opportunity to speak with middle school children at a school in Flint, Michigan about making a positive impact in their own worlds and how they could take small steps to make all the difference in their own lives and their community. The school was fairly typical, with kids’ artwork tacked to the hallway walls and posters next to the chalkboards with a few encouraging phrases. The kids were very attentive, and even came up with some business ideas of their own that would help those around them. Their response to the Be A Number movement was one of enthusiasm and wonder–they had so many questions and loved asking Kevin about playing football and where he gets his ideas. We were so impressed with how respectful and interested all the students were.
However, on the drive into and out of the area surrounding the school, we noticed many things that made us think about what many children don’t have. Thousands of families in the Flint area don’t know where their next meal will come from, shops were boarded up, and homes and businesses had bars on the windows to prevent robbery. What didn’t we see? A place for children to laugh and play and forget about the troubles of the world, a place for them to turn to when times were getting rough, a place to keep them off the streets.
As the rain spattered the windows of the pick-up truck we were driving, I couldn’t help but think about the kids without a roof over their heads, without a mother or father, and without a hot meal. These mental images are the driving force behind our deep desire to help as many children as possible. The children we reach will finally have material proof that we haven’t forgotten about them, though the world often overlooks them. The children in our own surrounding cities can be helped, and we are determined to reach as many as possible.
So as you go about your busy days, take a second to notice things that you usually wouldn’t, but also take the time to notice what you can’t see. It’s truly amazing how motivating it can be.