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The Small Seed Project

June 2, 2011

I’m sitting watching the news today as hundreds of children march in Syria in defiance of torture, oppression and fear and demand a basic right – a safe childhood. I am touched and inspired at this bravery without hesitation.  It’s a big gesture – one that is rightly making its way across the worlds media, but whilst we may see a mass of bodies and faces moving as one, those who watch as friends, parents and peers of those children see a hundred small acts of heroism that made it possible for each of those children to face their own individual stories and fears and step up.

There are children stepping up all around us. Most of these small moments of good don’t make it onto the news. They don’t always happen through those who are living with extreme circumstances. They are quiet. They are small. But they matter, and like the smallest seed they travel and grow. This is how inspiration works, and whether we recognize it or not these are the acts that lead us to do more, do better.

The Small Seed Project was born from several places;

The first is sociological and comes from a place of idealism, and I’m comfortable with that. I’ve been privileged to spend much of my adult life with groups of pretty fantastic children. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t romanticize children as ‘little angels’. I am after all a parent who has experienced as much of the, um, more frustrating moments with my children as the next person. I do however see all children as whole people to be valued as such, while still being protected as vulnerable. This can be a confusing contradiction in the life of a child, and the part about vulnerability can be misguidedly used by adults to dismiss and devalue. Thus, a recurring theme amongst the groups of children I know is the idea that anyone has the power to change the world through small acts. I have seen this played out time after time. And yet, in many parts of our society, our communities, we continue to discount and ignore the voice and actions of children.

The second ‘seed’ for this idea is much simpler; I love to take pictures. I want my images to get to the heart of each child I photograph. I get to work at this thing that I love without fees, payments and the specter of the ‘Christmas card photo for Grandma’ getting in my way!

So there it is. The Small Seed Project. One child, once a month (or so!) on the blog, and one small act of good that you won’t hear about on TV. Maybe they will make you smile, and just maybe their seed will grow to something bigger.. Who knows…?

Watch this space for the first Small Seed this week…..

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