The “Gift” – How that segment of the program came to be and ‘the Book’

Too much time has gone by since my last submission. Suffice it to say that lots has been happening that demands my undivided attention- even though most of the time I feel that I have to divide my attention more than ever. The Simple Gift Series team has been hard at work creating and assembling Season 2 (lots of great work to share). With that has come tremendous opportunities that I will share in an update later this week. That is just one piece of my life’s work. So much to be grateful for, however I have missed this sharing with you all.
So – apologies for the delay- here goes….

As I watch the Sunday programming of the Simple Gift Series each weekend morning, I am struck by the simple genius and care that each little segment possesses- Marty, Curiosity Corner, Car Song, Library, the beautiful books and the songs that go with each book- So much learning and sharing with so much intention. Then we get to the ‘gift’ segment. I remember so vividly how that bit of the program came to be and I would love to share that moment with you all.

Tripp, Drew and I were working on the green screen sequences as we were putting season 1 together and we were made aware that we needed to find an additional 1 minute and 30 seconds to complete the timing that was required of us. ‘More Marty? Longer Intro?’ we asked each other. I came to the gents one evening and shared the idea of a ‘gift’ arriving at the door at the end of each episode. Something very simple that would provoke thought and most importantly, GRATITUDE. I shared the concept and as I did, I could tell the both of my teammates loved the idea and that they would be willing to go down the path of creating this moment. Remember, it’s called ‘Simple’ gift series for a reason. The idea of an actual, tangible ‘Gift’ arriving seemed so logical. Breaking things down to the core value of their essence for a children’s program was perhaps a lofty goal- but as I have always believed in all I do- achievable. Each episode has a theme and the ‘Gift’ would convey the essence of that theme. Clearly, this was something for the children, but more so- for us, the adults in the room.

I take for instance yesterday’s program. The theme of this episode was ‘learning’ and all the different ways you can learn and that we can actually be learning ALL the time if we stay curious. Hence, the book, “My Curiosity”, the trip to the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, the Car Song, “I Yearn to Learn” and so on…..every bit of the program is dedicated to inspire learning. Then comes the ‘Gift’- seems logical to have placed an actual book in the box right? Well, don’t assume anything. In the world of “Googling” for information, a book may seem a bit archaic, stifled, antiquated way of learning. Not for this team.

Many of us still read, fiction, non-fiction, tabletop books, it doesn’t really matter. We enjoy books and what they do for us . We also appreciate the author, the story, and importantly, the actual act of holding a book. Seems so simple right? It isn’t. Not any more. To read, most importantly, to read to a child, is so much more than the words on the page. It is a testament to the human spirit. The act of learning how to read, to be curious enough to want to write, to share, the hold….I get emotional just thinking about the importance of books- yet we are letting these very things slip from us each and every day. Oh, I can go on and on here- but I won’t. Back to the book.

I open the gift and I pull out a book and the ‘gift’ is knowledge. The book represents that act of acquiring knowledge. Yes, there are many, many ways now to acquire knowledge as humans. At the very heart of it all is the ‘book’. Our transferring content onto Google is a sign of our times and certainly admirable…but again, I would argue, it all starts with a book.

I am currently working through 3 books, “All In”, by Shaw, “Moral Courage” by Kidder, “Your Next Five Moves”, by Bet-David. Additionally, I am keeping the children’s series by Kobi Yamada on my bedside to remind me to continue to seek the essence of all that has come to seem so complex and so loud. What book is on your bedside table? What books are on your children’s shelves?

Teaching our children to pick up a book and read is SO powerful on so many levels. So, don’t wait- pick up a book and share it with your child. As often as possible- the core value here is “Curiosity”, seeking knowledge, questioning, seeking truth…..that is what matters. And truth is getting harder and harder to find.