Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sparking Goodness- One Tiny Action at a Time.

There's a book out there that gives some sage advice: "Don't sweat the small stuff." In this post I am not sweating the small stuff-- I'm celebrating it and recognizing its importance.


Mr. Alexander making a correction. Photo
courtesy of Wikipedia.
When I was in acting school, we studied the Alexander Technique, which is a method of thinking about the body and choosing to use the body in a very deliberate way. It was developed by an Australian actor who had a vocal illness that no doctor could cure. When prevailing medical wisdom did not help, he locked himself in a room and started studying himself in the mirror, trying to figure out what was causing his vocal infirmity.

Eventually, he realized that he had a habit of making a tiny imperceptible movement just before he spoke, and when he didn't do that - when he CHOSE not to do that movement - he did not have pain. He was amazed that such a tiny movement could have so big an effect.

And so it is in the world - a tiny thing can make a big difference. A small dam can change the course of a river, a well-placed word can be the deciding factor in a business deal, and yes, a butterfly flapping its wings can change the weather pattern.

Which is why I'm pleased to let you know about author T.A. Barron's campaign #SparkGoodness, whose central idea is that small acts of goodness can have an outsized effect.
50 ways you can spark goodness- you can download this list as a pdf.  Image courtesy of T.A. Barron

DISCLOSURE: I am not being directly compensated for this blog post. However, T.A. Barron is my wife's client, and she is working on this campaign, so I think it's the right thing to do to disclose that fact. I am also disclosing that my opinions are my own, and that if this weren't a great thing that I think my readers should know about, I would have not written about it. I take my integrity seriously, and so should you.


T.A. Barron.  photo courtesy of T.A.
Barron website.
If you don't know T.A. Barron, you should. He is a highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of more than 30 books, including the Merlin Saga, which is currently being developed into a film by Disney. He was awarded the de Grummond Medallion for “lifetime contribution to the field of children’s and young adult literature” and founded the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a national award for outstanding young people.

Barron's latest project, #SparkGoodness, has as its central idea that a lot of people doing small actions of good that will have an outsize effect on the world at large. To that end, he's offering children and their families ideas of actions to take and a means to catalog their sparks. Not all of these actions will catch fire, but some will, and collectively, these smaller actions will have a big impact. And some of them will have an amazing impact, perhaps even set the world ablaze.

This summer he’s especially encouraging kids to get in on the action, creating sparks of their own and tracking them throughout the summer. It’s a great family activity too! You can download the #SparkGoodness “50 Ways to Create Summer Sparks” list for inspiration, and there’s also a Summer Sparks Tracker for your kids to record their ideas and actions.

You can download this tracker as a pdf.  Image courtesy of T.A. Barron.

Some previous #sparkgoodness entries

(courtesy of the T.A. Barron #SparkGoodness Website.)

Did I mention that there are prizes?  

You will get this downloadable print at home
poster just for entering!
Image from T.A. Barron website
Once you and your kids have created your small sparks, you can enter them to win prizes! Each month until October 2018, Barron will choose one #SparkGoodness winner per month as an example and inspiration. He will also choose four runners-up each month. And just for entering, you will receive an exclusive print at home poster of The Great Tree of Avalon, a key character in Barron’s Merlin Saga series.

In November 2018, all monthly winners and runners-up will be entered into a bigger contest where all fans will have a chance to vote on the 2018 #SparkGoodness winner, plus four runners-up for the year.

To enter, visit the #SparkGoodness website. I can't wait to see what kind of amazing goodness your tiny actions bring!

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