I am often inspired by what I read or hear. Recently, I was sent this picture and explanation.
“This is the buddy bench. An idea by second-grader Christian Bucks. He noticed classmates were alone at recess, so he got his school to install this. If you feel lonely on the playground you go sit on the buddy bench, and another student will come to the bench and ask if they want to play or talk.”
This weekend, as Nelson Mandela is laid to rest, and families in Newtown remember those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School one year ago, I applaud Christian Bucks for his initiative and desire to make our world a better place. I am not naive to think this bench is the end to playground issues or childhood loneliness; yet, it is an inspiring start. With the media riddled with bad news stories, it is refreshing to hear of an 8 year old moved to action to promote inclusion. Mandela would be proud.
In fact, it only seems fitting to give Mandela himself the last words this week: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”