The World Needs You

Tonight my six-year-old daughter and I were chatting after bedtime.  We were lounging in the dark on my bed, and she asked about a conversation she overhead between my father and me this weekend.  He’s reading a book about China and the United States. She had questions; we talked about how we purchase many, many things from China.  We also talked about China’s government and human rights violations.

“I know!” she said, “we’ll just stop buying stuff from China and then they’ll have to change the things they do.”

I was surprised that she came up with the idea of a boycott on her own. I told her that was an approach that we can sometimes take with countries, companies, or organizations we disagree with: we can boycott them.

“Or,” she continued, “we could also make better things here so we wouldn’t have to buy so much stuff from over there.”  I told her that yes, that was another approach.  “OR,” she continued–clearly now on a brainstorming roll–“there could be war. But I don’t think we should do that.  That’s not a good option.” I asked her why not, and her response was “because people die, and it’s sad.”

We talked about helping people and where we could devote our time, money, and energy in our own backyard and globally.  She bubbled over with ideas.  I told her that I’m glad to hear her ideas because “the world needs helpers–the world needs people like you.”

She paused.

“What? You mean the world needs ME?” She seemed incredulous. And thrilled.

This made me think about how a child probably feels powerless in the world.  But realizing that we are needed to do good, in some capacity, wherever we’re called to do it, really is exciting and empowering.  Even for a six-year-old girl.

So tonight, remember: the world needs you.

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