At the start of 2016, I made a New Year’s resolution to be kind to others.
As with all resolutions, I fully intended to follow it through, and I’m glad to say that in doing so, it has led me down a path, which 12 months ago I never could have imagined.
Whilst I was on maternity leave, I wrote a children’s picture book, but then thought nothing more of it. I saved it on my computer, looked at it occasionally, tweaking the odd word here and there, but for the most part it stayed untouched.
Then it occurred to me one day that as my New Year’s resolution was to be kind to others – wouldn’t it make sense to pay it forward? The best way I thought I could do this, was to team up with a charity, with some of the proceeds from sales of the book going to them. It would help raise awareness about their work too.
I looked at the themes of the story, and the loneliness of elderly people was the obvious one for me to focus on. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart, and I hoped I could make a real difference.
The book is primarily aimed at 3-7 year-old’s, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense in terms of raising awareness across all age groups. After getting the book as near to completion as I could through self-publishing, I reached out to Contact the Elderly.
I’d discovered them when they staged a tea party at my workplace for some of their beneficiaries. Seeing the impact they were having on the elderly people involved, helped me take action. I’m delighted to say that they too loved the premise of the book, and we agreed then and there to form a partnership. For every copy sold, £1 is going to them to help raise vital funds for the work they do.
If we are to encourage younger generations to also display acts of kindness, then it has to come from us, the parents, leading by example. My two year-old is at the stage where he often repeats things that I say. With this in mind, how he sees me interacting and treating others is hugely important. I hope by watching me, he will understand that acts of kindness, not matter how small, should be part of his everyday life.
As for the book, James and the Amazing Gift, is delighting older and younger readers alike; spreading happiness, one smile at a time.
Never did I think that my New Year’s resolution would help me fulfil one of my lifelong dreams; to become a published author. And this is where New Year’s resolutions, or at least the ones we stick with, can be the best thing we do.
And if you find yourself abandoning them by the end of January, ask yourself this. Why did you want to set yourself that goal in the first place? If the bigger goal seems scary, take small steps, one at a time. At least you’re heading in the right direction. And who knows what you can achieve if you set your mind to it?
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