I confess that I’m not very good in math. Oh, I know quite well accounting/bookkeeping basics—how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Beyond that, advanced math is beyond me, as my two children will readily attest.
Despite my mathematical limitations, I do know a whole heck of a lot about the singular number, One. Some may argue that One is insignificant compared to 10 or 1,000 or 10,000. I respectfully disagree. In my book, One is the start of the tipping point for change. And when I say, “In my book,” I mean that literally.
As a children’s advocate and author of nine books, including The Invisible Boy, I speak every year to thousands of young students in schools throughout the US, sharing with them this one basic truth: You don’t have to be a superhero with extraordinary powers to be a real hero in someone else’s eyes. You can be a normal kid. You can be an average grown-up like me. All it takes is just one person to reach out in kind ways to make a positive difference in the lives of those we touch: someone to acknowledge our presence and not make us feel invisible; someone to say kind words about us to our faces and, equally important, behind our backs; and someone to include us in a group, game, or activity.
We humans are social beings. We have the fundamental need to belong and feel connected and valued by our peers. Social isolation can be highly distressing and painful for children and adults. Acts and words of kindness do count. And it all starts with . . . One. The power of One.