Any interaction can influence the life of a child either negatively or positively. You never really know when something you've said or done will imprint on the memory of a child and possibly dictate what path they take the rest of their life.
This is the basic premise of Wess Stafford's book "Just a Minute". In it he shares 68 true stories of people who can recall that one moment that changed their life. Often it seems to be something small; being honest though nobody saw you, encouraging and treasuring the artwork or writings of a child, just showing kindness. You never know when one of these moments will truly sink in. Unfortunately, not all stories share a positive experience.
While reading I would, shockingly, find myself with simple, silent tears running down my cheeks. Some of these stories are so incredibly touching that emotions will flow... and I'm not one to start crying while reading. It made me look more closely at my own interactions with my children. How will my reaction influence them? Would I want my child to grow up and do what I'm doing? What kind of example am I setting? Am I being loving, kind, and encouraging?
I'm so thankful to have read this book. Through Stafford's writing I have become more aware of the moments I have with the children in my life, whether they are mine or somebody else's. Already I have been telling friends about this wonderful book, especially those with small children. When I spoke about "Just A Minute" a friend of mine shared an off-hand comment her mother made that impacted her life negatively for years, even as an adult. Another friend told me how a teacher's actions made her also want to be a teacher and help kids when she grew up. We all have these types of stories and Stafford wants us to think back on them, reflect, and create "moments" with those children we come in contact with.
For those who are not aware, Wess Stafford is the president and CEO of Compassion International. This is a company that reaches out to countries all over the world to break the cycle of poverty in children. My husband and I personally sponsor a child in India through Compassion and I hope to sponsor more in the future. If you are interested in more information on Compassion International and sponsoring a child I have a link on my right side bar (it's been there since I started sponsoring our child). I encourage you to take a look at the children waiting for sponsors, take at look at yourself and see if you could spare the $38 a month to help change the life of a child or even $20 a month to help support mothers and babies. There are a number of ways to help and it will only take just a minute.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255