In a universe of wunderkinds with exceptional talents, there is one child whose story deserves to be read and shared.
It is the life of a prodigy born with a gift that was neither inherited nor developed until after it was fully appreciated by his family. It is the story of a child whose love of a game in addition to his parent’s devotion is helping him enjoy a life that could have been lost.
Little Kyle Lograsso was 18 months old when his parents discovered him imitating a golf swing he had seen most likely on television. First he used the TV remote as his golf club and later brought in sticks to more closely imitate what he had seen.
His parents watched his progress and enthusiasm with awe since they neither played the game nor demonstrated prior interest. They were never certain what it was he saw on television that inspired him to practice. His father searched for a coach who was able to demonstrate by a comparison video that Kyle had a swing that was significantly like Tiger Woods.
However, by the time he was 2 years old, a white speck on his left eye was subsequently diagnosed as retinoblastoma. Without surgery, the little pro would die within months. He survived the procedure and now wears a prosthetic eye which he has used with comic effect to tease his sister.
This child is a beautifully poignant example of how someone so young can prevail over daunting challenges in his pursuit of who he is meant to be.
For more of Kyle’s story, you can also visit his home page.
This is the first in a series of interviews with the founders and members of Positive Change Core (PCC) to create a mosaic of relationship, perspectives, and reflections of their experience.
On Friday, February 5, 2020 Patreece Thompson interviewed PCC Founder, Marge Schiller, PhD.
Patreece: What are the images of hope that have evolved since PCC emerged from the ashes of 911?
Marge: It is clearer than ever before that the universal, multicultural image of hope is in children. We see it now in Haiti that what affects and moves us to action is the hope we see in their eyes.
What is remarkable about children is their purity, their deep connection to what is best in us as humans. They show us love, hope, and joy.
Patreece: As you are speaking, I’m remembering the picture of the young Haitian boy pulled out of the rubble left by the earthquake, raising his hands in victory, despite the ordeal he had just gone through.
Marge: Yes, Children ARE victorious…
Patreece: What are some high points for you in PCC creating a culture where the strength of children are uplifted and expanded?
The world has been touched and saddened by the devastation and destruction wrought by an earthquake in Haiti. Rescue teams including religious organizations, medical and military personnel swarmed Port Au Prince in an effort to prevent further loss of life and hope.
But back in Fulham, West London, a little 7 year old named Charlie Simpson cried at the images of Haitians suffering from homelessness, lack of food and death of loved ones. He was particularly touched by the children many of whom became orphans. He appealed to his mother to help him set up a sponsored bike ride around a nearby park. She set up a web page on www.justgiving.com which allows donors to contribute to UNICEF.
His simple message: “My name is Charlie Simpson. I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives. I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti.”
With that simple statement, his simple act of riding his bike eight kilometers (five miles) around a park and the dream of raising $500 (US), Charlie has to date raised over £100,000 ($160,000). There was an outpouring of support, encouragement and money from those who were inspired by this act of compassion on the part of one so young.
The learning lesson here is one of the elegance and simplicity of the dream and the act. Charlie’s dream is huge – to be able to supply the needs of everyone in Haiti – but his action was wonderfully simple. Only a child or one that is child-hearted could combine these elements into effective action that can change the world.
I found this uplifting story of seven year old Charlie. I remembered how Patreece was moved by another story of a 14 year old, Jake, below who had to jump in and help when he saw another in need. It also reminds of the message in our dear colleague, Judy Rogers’ book, Something Beyond Greatness, when there is a calling to act – you just can’t not do it.
I’ve pasted in the story of Charlie from Wend.
When seven year old Charlie Simpson saw the grim images of post-earthquake Haiti on television he reacted as most children his age would: he broke down and cried. But instead of begging his mother to change the station, the young bicycling aficionado asked how he could help. To date the West London youth’s philanthropic push–a five-mile sponsored bicycle ride around a local park–has raised $204,459.186 for UNICEF and inspired people throughout the world to lend a hand with disaster relief in Haiti.
Charlie set out to raise £500 (around $800) for the Unicef Haiti Appeal by riding his bicycle 7 laps–about 5 miles–around a local park, asking for sponsors along the way. But some savvy adult (presumably his mother or father) set the young philanthropist up with an account at a website where donations can be collected online and once word about Charlie’s mission hit the internet, teary-eyed grown ups all over the world started opening up their pocketbooks.
From Charlie Simpson’s donation site:
“My name is Charlie Simpson. I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives. I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti.”
“We saw him put his hand up and saying, ‘help, help,’ so we went over to him and pulled him on our board,” Satherley said on Monday.
Jake Satherley and his partner in this extraordinary exploit, Spencer Jeams, rescued a middle aged man who was drowning in the ocean off the east coast of Australia. They are members of a lifeguard training program for under 14 year olds.
This brief story was cited over 5,000,000 times in Yahoo and Google between 1/11/10 and 1/12/10 with almost the exact wording except for one report on abc.net that was different. There Mrs. Satherley reveals that the children had not been taught how to save people; that training would come in a couple of years. Jake’s mother added that her son has always been the type of child to save sick animals, birds, or lizards.
This story is an inspiration about the innocence of children who, under the belief that they can, actually did – and jumped into a situation to save a life. Jake and Spencer used the training they received and took it to the next level instinctively. They responded without hesitation to their innate gift to be aware of a need and to act.
Who would have thought that saving a lizard could translate into rescuing a person?
May we as adults take the opportunity nurture that spark in every child that coul someday blossom into the fulfillment of a dream for them, for others and for ourselves.
The board meeting, conducted via telephone conference, focused on the activities of participants in expanding the use of strengths-based approaches in the education of children and increasing the practice of Appreciative Inquiry.
Two members (Sue James and Robin Stratton-Berkessel) described in glowing terms their experience of the Appreciative Inquiry Conference that was held in Nepal in November of 2009. High points related to location, cultural diversity of attendees and applications of AI in the community, healthcare and spiritual arenas.
For more about the conference in Nepal, please see:
The group then brainstormed recommendations to make the website more dynamic including brief interviews of board members, stories of interest highlighting education in emergent areas, and stories reflecting the power of children and links to interesting articles.
An overview of Voices of Learning in Canton, Ohio. in which 6 schools participated, was presented and overall was a success.
The meeting ended with plans to complete the Leap of Learning Manual and enroll interested teachers, school administrators in the training before publication as well as regional offices of education and education boards.
More detailed information about the meetng (PDF download)
A fascinating article appeared in the New York Times on 10 January 2010, in which Brad Stone discusses current inter-generational gaps that are being influenced and increased by light-speed advances in technology.
Entitled The Children of Cyberspace: Old Fogies by Their 20s, the article explores how the world view of children and young people is influenced by new technologies. It mentions how researchers theorize that “the ever-accelerating pace of technological change may be minting a series of mini-generation gaps, with each group of children uniquely influenced by the tech tools available in their formative stages of development“.
Our children and young people will “think nothing of sharing the minutiae of their lives online, staying connected to their friends at all times, buying virtual goods, and owning one über-device that does it all.”
It is certainly food for thought …. and yet another reminder for us all of how vitally important it is to create the space and time for meaningful inter-generational conversations!
Read the full article online …