r By Jacob Gossner
On November 20, 2018, My Story Matters partnered with BYU’s “Cosmo’s Dunk Team” to promote education and celebrate story at Spring Creek Elementary. After a fantastic assembly focused on the value of learning from mistakes, working together, and never giving up, we presented the children with their books. One of the children who received their books was Maddox, an energetic 6th grader with a bright future.
After he had time to look through his book with his friend Desdon, I took Maddox aside and asked him a few questions about the storytelling process. He told me that his favorite part of the process was when he got to wear a funny hat and make a goofy pose for the photographer.
As we talked more, however, Maddox repeatedly came back to the single word he used to describe himself: caring. One of the values of Spring Creek Elementary is to be kind, to reach out to others, to care. As he described it, caring is reaching out to your friends and trying to help them when they are down. Two of his friends recently lost one of their parents, and he emphasized that, since he wants to be a good friend, he cared for them, tried to cheer them up, and played with them. He told me that caring for other people, for real and not just to get people to like you, was part of being strong and part of being a good friend.
I asked Maddox if he had a favorite part of his book. He said that his very favorite page was the page where he talked about his future and all of the dreams that he has. He said, “I want to be an astrophysicist or an engineer when I grow up. I hope that I will always choose the right thing and stay positive. I wish that there were more kind people in the world. If I could change anything in the world, I would teach everybody how to live a good life and make sure they aren’t poor.”
The final question that I asked Maddox was what gave him hope. He told me that the thing that gives him the most hope is knowing that he can try again. He used the analogy of a battle between two mismatched people, where one is strong and the other is weak. As long as the weaker guy keeps trying, then there is a chance that he can win. That chance, and that ability to try again, is what gives my friend Maddox his hope for the future.