5.27.2009

Making a Difference

"It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference." ~Tom Brokaw

I'm always amazed at how little effort it takes from me to really make a child [or adult, for that matter] happy. One thing I've always felt strongly about is knowing each Primary child by name, as well as as many things about them as I can find out. There's a big payoff -- when they realize that I do know them and I know some things about them, they literally light up. Sort of the Sally Field moment, remember? "You like me! You really like me!" Oh, and I do!

When I first was called to Primary, it was overwhelming to try to learn the names of every child [we have a big Primary!] but remembering that the scriptures teach us that our Heavenly Father knows each of us by name, and that He knows our hearts really helped me realize the importance of something so seemingly simple. So I studied and learned and reviewed until I knew every one of them. I knew who their parents were and who their siblings were.

And now I know if they have extended family in town or not, I know when they've had a new baby in the family and I like to try to attend extra things that they participate in, like soccer games. These little ones [big ones too] know that I love them, that I laugh at goofy things, and that I am someone who is safe for them.

I know their names. Just like their Heavenly Father does. And it matters. A lot.

picture by David Bowman

16 comments:

Renae said...

You're amazing, Jan. You take your calling the extra mile and the kids know that. I guess that's why you're Gram-tastic! You always went the extra mile in YW too.

Nat Lud said...

You are such a great example of charity, my friend. I know you always make me feel great when you comment on my blog. You are super nice and just so in tune with what others need. Thanks for another great posting!

Jill said...

I agree that the best way to make someone feel special is find out more about them and let them know that you're interested. It's amazing what that does for a relationship!

SweetmamaK said...

You have no idea how important it is to their parents also- as always you rock and inspire!

Emily said...

What a beautiful picture! You are such an amazing and inspiring woman. I say it all the time, but you are the biggest example to me! If I could have even just a few of your incredible talents I would be set for life!

100 Percent Cottam said...

aw, sweet! and i love that picture! i need to buy a print for my home!

Mel said...

I love that picture!! What a great post. You are so amazing and a wonderful example to us all.

Carrie said...

You are the best example of this that I know. What a lady you are Miss Jan!

Ashley said...

knowing names does matter. you're simply wonderful!

Natalie Scott said...

Indeed it does matter...and the kids DO absolutely adore you!

Mommia said...

I love you. You are an amazing woman and set such a stellar example of how we should treat our fellow man....and all of our little one's.

Thank you for sharing this. :)

Aryn said...

You were so good at making us feel like great YW that it's kinda odd to read about how you charm all these primary kids. I want to tell them to back it up, you're OURS. :)

Great post.

MiaKatia said...

Our former Bishop had an amazing ability to learn names, and he also worked at it. It made him seem so friendly and approachable. No matter where he ran into you, church or the store he would say hi to you and ask about your life in some small way. It really does make a difference when someone knows your name.

hoLLy said...

i definitely does make a difference when you know the kids names and know about their lives and families. you are so awesome for making sure you know that sort of stuff. i remember when i was a kid, that kind of stuff REALLY mattered to me and made me feel special-which i really needed. i was so shy!

BrookieT said...

Way to go! I am having a difficult time with names in my class because half of them are not on my roll since they belong to the spanish branch, You are an inspiration!

Melissa said...

Hi Jan!! I feel like it's been forever since I've caught up on everyone's blog...of course you always have such sweet thoughts!