I recently came across a series of books at a used book store called Best In Children’s Books. As a kid, I remember receiving these books each month and devouring them in a matter of hours. I bought the entire series and started looking through them again almost 50 years later. When I started going through these books, something clicked inside me. All of the things that I love, that I spend time with, that I work on for hours, that bring me great joy are all in these books. I am a mechanical engineer and environmentalist, a published writer, a published poet, a musician, and an avid reader. I love animals, I love history, I love to travel to other places, and I love to experience new things.
When I took a looked at the contents of these books (see the table of contents to the left), I noticed that they always had some great fiction (Alice in Wonderland), some poetry (Three Little Kittens), an article on science and technical things (The Sun Keeps Us Warm), an article on animals (America’s Lake and River Fish), something historical (Val Rides the Oregon Trail), something environmental (Plink Plink, which is about water conservation), and at the end of each book, something about other countries (Let’s Visit Brazil). Some of the other books had articles on music and biographies of historical figures. Wow! Every single volume was filled with all of the things that are a part of my life today.
It made me realize that my young sponge of a brain was soaking up all of these images, words, facts, and photos that later influenced my life and work. So what are we exposing our young kids’ minds to these days? You will have to answer that one for yourself. But know that whatever it is, it will likely shape who they become.
This wasn’t a scientific experiment. It was just an observation. What we dwell on, what we inundate ourselves with, what we spend our time doing each day really does make a difference on who we are and who we become. That’s true for anyone at any age. So what do you spend your time doing? Do you watch a lot of television? Do you work too much? Do you spend your time in a negative state of mind? Whatever you are doing, you are creating your future, so choose wisely!