By Garrett Hawkins
My children get a little tired sometimes of me encouraging them to “think big and do good.” I was reminded recently that not all good deeds have to be big.
The book fair had been going on at Appleton City Elementary. Like you, I vividly remember begging my parents to take my brother, sister and me so that we could paw through stacks of books spread out on the cafeteria tables. My kids are no different, so my wife took the kids while I was out doing chores.
Our middle son, Colton, insisted on bringing his wallet containing birthday money he had saved. I was a bit surprised as I had figured we would be venturing to Bass Pro or Cabela’s over the holidays so he could spend his cash on hunting gear. One by one, he selected six books and did the math in his head to figure out he had reached his limit.
The school librarian added up the books, and Colton handed her his money. It was then that he shared with his mother he wanted to give the books to his teacher to use in the classroom. Jennifer, with tears in her eyes, walked him down the hallway, books in hand, to find his teacher.
At home that evening, Jennifer recounted what Colton had done, and all I could do was smile. I gave him a big hug and told him I was proud of him. It was a moment I will never forget.
I share this story not to boast, but as a reminder that acts of kindness, regardless of how big or small, can make a difference. In this instance, one third-grade classroom has six more books for young minds to read.
This year has been incredibly difficult for our communities. Many families have been forced into figuring out how to do school at home. Likewise, plenty of parents have adjusted their commute to a walk to the dining room table. We have all experienced the pain of losing in-person interactions with friends and family or the fulfillment we find in church and sports.
As 2020 comes to an end, our friends and neighbors need encouragement more than I can ever remember. Join me in “thinking big (or small) and doing good” this holiday season and let’s count our blessings together.
Garrett Hawkins is a farmer and president of Missouri Farm Bureau. This column was originally published by Missouri Farm Bureau.