We live in selfish, uncertain times. With the media constantly drenched in stories about the latest goings-on of power-hungry narcissists, it can be hard to see the good in the world. Father and daughter team Paul D. Parkinson and Sammie Parkinson wanted to offer something different, so they wrote Unselfish Kids, a book containing 40 short stories about kids who are making a difference in the lives of others.
Self-published, Unselfish Kids was a labor of love for the Parkinsons. Sammie Parkinson describes herself as being called to "pure and simple acts of service," and spends her time volunteering in orphanages and elementary schools. Her father, Paul, is a filmmaker and creator of the film Nowhere Safe, a feature-length movie about cyberbullying based on real events. Collaborating on this project about the kindness of children was a natural fit for the close-knit pair. "Our children have endless possibilities," the authors wrote in Unselfish Kids. "Spend time with any child, and it’s as if you can hear them say, 'Give me a little support, and I can do amazing things.'"
I have spent the last hour reading all of these stories, and I am overwhelmed with such a feeling of hope and joy because, let me tell you: The kids? They're alright. It's the adults that need to do better.
The authors start the book with a message to the readers, and they reminded me of an Everett Hale quote I had forgotten: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
We could all hold that idea close to our hearts, and it would do us well.
Here are a few of the most unforgettable tales from the book.