There seems to be a lot of bad news lately, and it is easy to feel helpless as a kid. After all, what can a 13-year-old do about global warming, Ebola and ISIS? But recently, I had an experience that reminded me that even something small can make a big difference.
For my school community service project, I volunteered at an organization that helps disabled kids play soccer. On the first day, my buddy was a young boy named Ben. His mom introduced herself to me and started talking about Ben. She wanted me to know that he couldn’t kick very well, so I might need to just roll him the ball.
The first time I kicked the ball past Ben, it was evident we would have to resort to the “rolling” strategy. I sat down, and Ben followed suit. I rolled the ball to him, it hit his leg, and he ignored it. I took the ball back and did the same thing. Ben continued to ignore me. This went on for about an hour, and I was getting frustrated, counting down the minutes until I could go home. For a second I even thought about pulling out my phone and surfing Instagram, but I knew that would be the wrong thing to do.
And then, all of a sudden, Ben lifted up his little hand, hit the ball, and it rolled back to me. There I sat, amazed.
Ben and I continued to roll the ball until it was time for him to go, and then his mom came up to me and asked how it went. I showed her: I rolled the ball to Ben, and he returned it.