Lynda Mullaly Hunt made me cry yesterday. Right in the middle of a panel session on the community of the Global Read Aloud. I had held my tears back all throughout as the authors had shared what it means to have their book read and loved by so many children on a global scale. I had held my tears back as they had talked about the ways that their books had changed the lives of others, how children had found hope, courage, and determination through their pages. Yet when Lynda told me that the slide showing a globe was for me because I had changed the world. I cried. And then Lynda cried, and I sat there in awe because I never set out to make a difference, I simply wanted to read a book aloud to my students and have them share their thoughts.
So I write this post not to gloat in the Global Read Aloud glory. Nor to say that I am anything special, but more so to tell people that your ideas have worth. That your ideas may make a difference to someone else. That those ideas you carry inside need to be spoken because you will never know what type of difference they may make.
And yes, it is scary to speak a dream aloud. And yes, it is scary to let others in . And yes, it is scary to be proud of what you have created. But it is worth it. Even if your idea changes the course for one other person, or even if just changes yours, it will never change anything if you do not speak out loud. If you do not share.
I never set out to make a difference, I wish I could say I had. But it happened, if even just for my own students as they fell in love with a book year after year and wanted to make the world a better place. Because I dared to speak aloud. I dared to think that perhaps someone somewhere would see the beauty in this so simple idea. And so the Global Read Aloud will continue to make a difference for so many kids, for so many teachers, as we gather in this time of terrorism, uncertainty and a world determined to be dark at times. We need books to connect us because the world seems to be trying to tear us apart at times. We need books to remind us that we are more alike than different. We need books and experiences and emotions so that we can remember that we are humans first and that whatever difference we may have can be overcome.
I never set out to change the world, and I am not even sure that I have. But I had an idea that I dared speak aloud and now cannot imagine a world without it. Share yours; change the world.