Kid Lit Dish

Kim's Magical Journey Into the World of Children's Picture Books

Nurture Your Goodness

on November 27, 2012

I would argue that lovers (especially WRITERS) of children’s literature are ALL good and kind people… with big, compassionate hearts.  Just a guess.

Of course, I am a Pollyanna, of sorts, and believe that MOST people (save a few) are good at their core… no matter how dastardly their deeds may be.

But kidlit people– REAL kidlit folks… well, to me, they (we) are a special breed.   I don’t think it’s possible to feel true joy when creating stories for young people if you have a bad bone in your body.  In fact, I would argue, that the MORE you embrace– and nurture– that sweet, unselfish, good-hearted side of yourself, the better your stories will be.

Very recently, a friend passed away.  He was really more of what I’d call a “solid” or “good” acquaintance– our boys are the same age, they played on the same football team last year, we’d see each other at school every other day…

But I cried buckets when I heard the news.  I was absolutely devastated.  Why?  Well, he was relatively young at  53 years old and his passing was sudden and completely unexpected.  He left behind an ailing wife and three children.  And he was truly one of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met in my entire life.

This happened in early October and I haven’t been able to write about him until now.  He was the kind of person who, even if you didn’t “run into him” in the school hallway for a few weeks, he’d remember EXACTLY where you left off in your last conversation… and he’d follow up with you on those things.  He always had a big smile on his face… for everyone, friend or stranger.  He was the kind of person who would just lift a person up when you saw him.  His goodness flowed out of him like a river and EVERYONE felt it.  He had just about the whole community attend his funeral.  His loss stung more than words can say.  Everyone felt it– like the world was not quite as good a place without him in it.  That’s no exaggeration.

At his funeral, one of his sisters said that when he was a kid, he made it his life’s goal to make at least ONE person happy every single day.  I’m sure he accomplished that… and then some.

My point in all this is to pay homage to this wonderful man… and to say that he would have made a helluva children’s writer, I would bet.

Nurture your goodness.  Focus on others.  Make one person happy every day.

Rest in peace, Kevin.

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4 responses to “Nurture Your Goodness

  1. Oh my. So very sorry for the loss of your friend, Kim. He sounds like a wonderful person. Your advice is excellent – we would all be better people if we made at least one person happy every day – it’s a wonderful goal to have.

  2. Thanks, Susanna… he was a very special person. And I do agree that it’s a great goal. I was at my gym the other day, putting my stuff away in a locker and this woman was doing the same next to me… she had a sour and somewhat sad look on her face so I just took a chance and smiled at her and said “Hi!” as brightly as I could. She turned to me and gave me this huge smile right back and very kindly greeted me in return. Just that one exchange made me feel so good, and made me realize the power of just a smile and/or a kind word. Life and time both get in the way, but I’m going to really try and fulfill at least a tiny portion of what Kevin did each and every day.

  3. Oh, Kim, what a beautiful tribute to your friend — and a lovely reminder for us all to honor the day with a smile and a kind word. It sounds as though Kevin did achieve one of his life goals and has left the world a better place because of it. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us.

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Design Of The Picture Book

Welcome to Design of the Picture Book! I'm Carter Higgins, and I'm a writer and librarian for kids. I spent a spectacular stint as the Children's Book Editor at <a href="http://www.designmom.com/">Design Mom</a> which I loved! You can find my column <a href="http://www.designmom.com/category/childrens-lit/">here</a>.<br /> I'm a K-6 librarian, a former-ish graphic designer, an SCBWI member, and a huge fan of words and pictures.<br /> Represented by <a href="http://www.rpcontent.com/">Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC</a>.

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