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FAQ - One Smile Q&A
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Tuesday, 14 July 2020
FAQs - One Smile Q&A
What motivated you to write about this particular topic, that one small act of kindness can make a difference?

In the years I spent teaching elementary school, I realized something I hadn't previously thought of: that knowing the basics of reading and writing and math etc. were indeed important in life.  But also just important, and maybe even MORE important, was being a kind person.  I wanted kids to see how much their kindness can impact someone.

Describe a time when someone showed compassion towards you, and it made you want to do something nice for someone else.

Well, the very thing that gave me the idea for One Smile was just that - but in reverse!  My family and I were out and we gave up our seat on a bus to a lady with a baby and packages and a stroller. She needed the seat more than we did.  Then, later that evening, back on that same bus, someone gave up his seat for us, so our whole family could sit together.  It got me thinking: what if when we do a kind act, it makes that person also want to also do one, and so on?… and where would it end up?... and could it come back around to us again?...  and that was the event that triggered the idea for One Smile.  But to answer your question specifically, just the other day I got a gift and wrote a think you note to the giver.  The gif was so thoughtful!  So I wanted to be sure they got a little kindness back from me.  (I always write them - I still like handwritten thank yous.)

What advice would you give to a child who wants to make a difference in their community like Jacob does, but is unsure how to?

A child could do some simple things on his own like pick up trash in the park as a girl did in One Voice.  He could shovel a neighbor's sidewalk or pick weeds at his school.  If he wanted a more formal project, he might ask his teacher, principal, a coach or leader, maybe even a pastor at church if they have any ideas for a community service project he could either do himself or join with others.  (They might have good information like that!)  For some things, of course, a parent should be involved, but others can just be simple and spontaneous!

Although your books are meant for children, is the message applicable to adults as well?

I sure hope so! People of all ages come up to me and tell me how they were touched by both stories' message and that it's made them think about being more kind to others.  Sometimes we just need a little reminder of how powerful our kindness can be… and it makes us want to do more!