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Easing the Journey Through Shadow & Light

  • Dawn

Another (Short) Out-of-the-Mouths-of-Babes Story

Anti-Anxiety Tool of the Week: This Will Not Last Forever

A short story by Children's Book Insider co-founder Jon Bard.

A while back, I tested for my black belt in kempo karate. It was a grueling affair -

8 1/2 hours of intense mental and physical tests. At one point, we were told to run up a steep hill and, when we got to the top, perform one of our forms. Then back down, then back up. Over and over. People half my age were green at the gills (and worse!) and I wondered exactly how much more I could take. I fought back as my mind told me to just quit. Just then, after coming down the hill, my Sensei (teacher) walked up to me and said:

"You know this is gonna end, right? This will not last forever."

Something switched in my brain. Because, when you're running up and down a hill, it's easy to start thinking you'll spend the rest of your life running up and down that hill. When you're inside an intense ordeal, it's hard to see anything else.

Until someone is kind enough to remind you that:

"You know this is gonna end, right? This will not last forever."

After that, my mindset changed completely. I immediately told myself "Every step I take, every minute that passes is one step and one minute closer to the end. And then I'll celebrate." For the rest of the test, I kept the image of receiving my belt, and the wonderful feeling I'd have, front and center.  And I kept telling myself "another minute closer to the end." So, members of our, I tell you that this will not last forever. This will end.  And then, we will all celebrate.

Another (Short) Out-of-the-Mouths-of-Babes Story

A number of years ago I was on the floor at a friend's house, playing with their four year old son--I'll call him Jesse (not his real name; the picture is a stand-in as well).

He was a beautiful little boy, with amazing eyes, huge long lashes and a sturdy frame. He was somewhere on the autism spectrum, so sometimes I didn't understand what worked for him as we played together. Sometimes I didn't understand what he was trying to say either, or why. And his responses weren't always what I expected. But we had fun together anyway.

I don't remember what we were doing that day or what--if anything--triggered the following, but I've never forgotten it.

My memory is that he got up suddenly, looked me in the eye very intensely and said, with great passion:

"One is tiny! And one is eNORMous!"

I laughed out loud, in surprise and delight. "You are so right, Jesse!" I said. "One IS tiny. And it's also e-NORM-ous!" He laughed too, so happy that I seemed to understand what he was trying to say.

I was blown away. I didn't even know he knew the word enormous!

A paradoxical truth of the universe coming from the lips of a child, a child who seemed to have so much trouble with certain aspects of his life.

And he was right. One IS tiny: the most minuscule of the whole numbers; a little dot; a period on a page; one person among 7,900,000,000 in the world; one day in the history of our planet which has cycled through approximately 1,658,000,000 days since its birth; one feather falling from one little sparrow; one infinitesimal moment in time.

And one IS enormous: One God. One Love. One life to live. We are all one. The entire verse.

Enormous beyond imagining.

Until next time,


Photo credits:

Runner, inov-8

Young boy, Cascade News

Paraglider, Milivoj Kuhar, unSplash


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