A small private Bloomington Minnesota school, Ramalynn Montessori Academy, will participate in the World Marathon Challenge 2012 Race Against Hunger on October 16. Last year, in 2011, there were 53 teams from 12 countries; the U.S.A. was not a participant in the race. The World Marathon Challenge is a simultaneous relay in which teams of 11 to 13 year-olds from across the globe race against each other as a team, over the full marathon distance, to bring awareness to world hunger. Each child runs a 200-meter (.124274 mile) segment of the marathon and passes a baton to the next runner. See: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/wmc
As we start a new school year, celebrate Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and reflect on our past year, I pause to consider how the little things can make a big difference. Ramalynn’s participation in this world event began with one parent who received an email about the event, was interested in learning more, and brought it to the attention of the school. The school jumped at the opportunity to get involved and the event has now mushroomed. When it became known that the United States has not been involved before, and that this is an opportunity to reach others fighting world hunger with other children from other countries, celebrities and other well known people have begun to show interest. It seems celebrities will attend the event and even the White House has been informed.
Sometimes times, starting a ball rolling with a vision or interest can make a huge impact, as in this case with the World Marathon Challenge, the individual parent’s interest was piqued, he began researching, and reached out to the school and others. A simple interest was transformed. At other times we don’t see such a huge impact, but it may be the little words of encouragement, a hug given at an appropriate time, or words of praise/admiration of a job well done that can make a huge difference to others. We don’t always know how our words and interactions with others will create an impact…..sometimes the impact is positive and unfortunately other times negative.
If we were to slow down time or were able to relive moments, sometimes we would act or react differently, sometimes we would be more kind, more patient, more giving, and sometimes we would jump into something as this Ramalynn parent did. I believe that if we each take the time at the end of our day to reflect on our actions and inactions, giving ourselves the opportunity to realize where we succeeded and where we fell short of our goals, we are more likely to retrain ourselves, break habits, and become the person we desire ourselves to be.
In Hebrew, the word for ‘sin’ literally means to miss the mark, as in an archer missing the bull’s eye. When we take the time to reflect on our actions, maybe we can grow closer to hitting the mark we aim for.
Thank-you for reading.