Supporting Sparks with Gifts

According to Search Institute, sparks “are the interests that inspire, the activities that energize. Sparks are the special abilities uniquely yours to tend, to grow, to share with the world.”  Everyone has a spark.  Many of us have forgotten what our spark was or have not thought about it for a while.  But pursing our sparks could mean the difference between merely surviving rather than thriving. The Search Institute asserts that youth need to find and pursue their sparks in order to survive. If we would all be thriving, our world might be a better place for all of us.

In our society, we are more concerned about what will allow kids to make it in life than what will help them thrive in their lives.

While I was on my trip out east a month ago, I spent a day in the village of Rockport and enjoyed poking my head into many a shop.  One of the shops I ventured into was called The Wishing Well – a shop filled with products by a variety of artists including paintings, quilts, and ceramics.  The shop also had some supplies to help young people pursue their interests in these areas.


Pictured above is a colored pencil set in a woolen sock puppet case.  What a great idea!  If I had a young child who had shown an interest in are, I would have considered buying this as a gift for him or her in order to support the interest in art.

Sparks may not be what career a child pursues in order to pay the bills.  In fact, my own Spark – writing blogs – will probably never pay the bills.  But Sparks enrich our lives, allow us to thrive, and take us to where we long to be.  We need to support the young people in our lives as they discover their Sparks, enrich their lives with their Sparks, and learn more about their Sparks.

As adults, we should care about the future of all youth.  This could mean that we have to buy some art supplies, pay for soccer camp, or drive them all around town.  We might need to help them with research, connect them with a mentor, or give of our time

How can we support a young person’s passion today?  I would love to hear stories from readers about how someone supported them in their younger years to pursue their Sparks.  Please, please – share in the comment section!

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Filed under Education, Parenting, Travel

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