Just A Minute Book Reaction

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A book report by Mikaela Sy

“Just a Minute.” Just a minute to say a word of encouragement, or just a minute to kill someone’s dreams and hopes. It may sound harsh, but in a child’s heart, this is true. Wes Stafford explains that sometimes, we don’t notice our little life-changing actions that transform, especially children. 

 This book tells stories of lives that were changed because of little encouragement that lasted even less than a minute. The little pat on the backs, and “good jobs” we give a child encourage them far beyond an hour of lecture. Sometimes changing a life requires recognizing a child’s skill instead of pointing out all the faulty errors.

Most of the time, it doesn’t even start with encouragement, but words of hope. Wess Stafford has visited many countries, and he remembers a time when he visited a poor church. He recognized a girl sitting alone, eyes sad, and gloomy. So Wes approached her and began telling others how special she was in the eyes of God. Little did he know, that was what she needed at that time. Little did he know that he saved a child who was raped. Every minute matters.

Many times, a child’s obstacles make her or him feel like he has no worth. But as Stafford says, “A child may be born in poverty, but poverty is never born in a child.” We must never put a child down even if he or she is a stranger.

As Jesus’s followers, we are called to help others and not just ourselves. It only takes a minute to build someone’s character. We should become role models for others. We must show compassion so that others may show others kindness, and it just takes one step. It takes one moment to say sorry, even in front of someone younger than you. A moment to show someone else what it means to love doesn’t only change their life, but the life of another person whom they may know. Teach children what purity is, what true beauty is. Don’t let them fall for the lies of the media. Form their character while they are still young.

Many times, we forget to recognize their talents and skills with all the things we say to a child. In many cases, it’s all corrections and lectures, and more revisions, and more speeches, but what if we just set aside a minute to acknowledge one’s talent? Stafford did this with his daughter. He bravoed her when she would become a ballerina by night, and now, and she’s an acting coach helping others acknowledge their skill and talent. It only takes 5 seconds to clap, and 5 seconds to yell. 

When we help others discover their talent and skill, we awaken their spirit. We awaken the hidden passion that might have been stomped on by someone who discouraged them in the past. When a child is molded in hate and hurt, we must take a minute to change that and shape their hearts to be a passionate, hungry, loving, hopeful hearts. It’s just like clay, it only takes a moment to deform, and a moment to form, but as it gets older, it will harden. So we must change a child’s heart while it is still young!

“Academically, Les was a struggling student from the get-go. The story goes that during his school days he was labeled “educable mentally handicapped” by the academic intelligentsia of his day and placed back from 6th grade to 5th grade. To make matters worse, he had a twin brother who was exceptionally bright and gifted, and as such, Les became commonly referred to by his peers as the “DT”—the “dumb twin.”

One day a teacher asked him to come up and solve a problem on the chalkboard, but Les refused and said that he couldn’t. “Of course you can,” the teacher responded encouragingly. “Young man, come up here and solve this problem for me.”

“But I can’t,” insisted Les. “I’m educable mentally handicapped.” The rest of the class erupted in laughter. At that point, the teacher stepped out from behind his desk and looked Les straight in the eye. “Don’t ever say that again,” he told him firmly. “Someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.”

Les never forgot those words and spent the rest of his life overcoming incredible odds and pursuing his goals with passion and zeal. Time and time again, thanks to that one teacher’s powerful revelation,

 Les has lived the phrase he’s famous for all over the world: You have greatness within you.

Les Brown is one of the world’s foremost motivational speakers and thought leaders on self-improvement and goal-setting. However, it wasn’t always that way for him. Born in Liberty City, Miami, on the floor of an abandoned building, he has known struggle and hardship his entire life.”

(taken from https://wabisabilearning.com/blogs/critical-thinking/6-powerful-ways-of-encouraging-lifelong-learning)

It takes a moment to change thousands of lives.

It takes a moment to realize one’s calling. Everyone has a calling and a purpose, but as mentioned, it can get hidden and stomped on my hurts and regrets. It only takes a minute, a second, a moment, to change all that.

But what now? After hearing this story, what now? I’m not a teacher! 

Find your calling, your story, and your minute miracle because your story is unique. Once you find your purpose, you can help others find theirs.

But like you said, you are not a teacher.

And you might not be.

 But here’s the good news, there are 2.2 billion children in the world today. Let’s be grateful; God gave us many lives to help, change, and nurture.

But it’s not possible without God. We need to know God’s love if we want to share it with others. 

And here’s the thing, the moment is now. 

You don’t need to be rich financially to help, but you need to be rich with purpose and love for others and God. Do you have a minute?

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