I was in kindergarten (the age I am in this photo!) when I knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Books were already entertainment and wonder and escape. A million different worlds I wanted to explore. And I didn’t just want to experience each story, I wanted to create my own. What an impossible dream! Even then I realized I had no right to such fantasies. Who was I to wish so boldly? To aim so high? But when I shared my dream with my parents, it changed everything. They started to introduce me by saying: “This is our daughter, Nicole. She’s going to be an author someday.” And because I didn’t know any better, I believed them.
Recently I had the opportunity to share with over 100 young authors and their parents, and it made me feel all the feels… I remember being a young writer at the very same dessert social, my handwritten story clutched in trembling fingers and my heart in my throat. I remember how much the words meant to me and how afraid I was that I would never have the chance to share them. But then my dad or my mom would squeeze my hand, a teacher would offer praise, a friend would tell me she loved my story, and hope would bloom. Maybe. Maybe they’re right.
Every word mattered. Every time someone shared the smallest shred of encouragement it watered that fledgling little maybe. Friends, you may never know the impact you have. You may never be told “thank you” for words that sunk deep and made a secret hope flourish. But you have the power to make a difference in the life of a child. And the life of an adult. Someone struggling and someone thriving. Young, old, rich, poor, happy, sad, it really doesn’t matter. We all need kindness like sunshine–everyday in a myriad of different ways. May our words be rich and golden, filled with love and life, with compassion and grace. And may we lift each other up, over and over again, until our dreams come true. #bekindalways #lovehard #speaklove #throwback #nofilter