Can Children's Books Improve Society? A Look at Beyond the Laces

We can correlate a healthy society with the quality education it gives to its citizens.

Education has two aspects: 1) giving children opportunities to develop their interest and 2) helping children build an inner protective mechanism to navigate through life in the contemporary environment.

Bob Salomon cleverly addresses both these aspects in the children's book Beyond the Laces, about illness, football and hope.

The rhyming picture book shows a sick boy watching his friends play football in the street through his bedroom window. The story progresses through how the parents try to give the boy hope and courage by connecting him with his love for football.

Give children opportunities to develop their interests

In the situation with the boy in the book, a child has an interest that he feels he has no opportunity to pursue. How many children do we run across that feel discouraged to follow their dreams? Many are the ones over 21 years old who allow their hopes to be chiseled away with each obstacle that arises. Yet, even our little ones can become gloomy by pressures to accomplish tasks outside their interests and feeling a lack of support for what they find significant.

Seeing disheartened children is sad, as the parent in the book expresses. In life, children with neglected dreams may become depressed, resort to drugs or engage in antisocial behavior. The course to a healthy life requires a lot of investment.

In the book, the boy was living a course of expensive and time-consuming medical treatment, which was not only a miserable life for the boy; it was a drain on group resources. Social workers, hospitals, treatment centers, correctional institutions and the like, eat up a good part of personal and public budgets.

Sustaining a child's dream may be the best investment for a healthy society. Spending toward empowering children to pursue their talents through musical, artistic, technical, athletic and other interests can lift a child up to adulthood as a wholesome contributing member of society.

Help children build an inner protective mechanism to navigate through life in the contemporary environment

Training a child to hope builds an inner protective mechanism. Hope is beyond wishful thinking. Hope is responding to a desire with motivation to take steps toward fulfillment. Small steps accumulate to the big accomplishments and even help a person through difficulties.

Although Beyond the Laces left out the detailed efforts of pressing to the goal, it inferred that the boy had the hope to proceed to a state of health and athletic ability. With optimism and courage motivation increases, and quite simply, a sick child musters up the energy to get better.

In the challenges of normal life, lack of enthusiasm can sink a person into depression and illness. "When a person complains of feeling inordinately dejected, hopeless or unhappy, the term depression is often used to label this subjective state," writes Aaron T Beck in his book Depression: Clinical, Experimental and Theoretical Aspects, and continues to explain both psychological and biological properties.

Give humanity a boost with children's books that set us on a mindfully right start in life.

With foresight we can see that forming healthy building blocks in a person early in life sets him or her on the path to both individual fulfillment and social contribution. "Beyond the story line of our book is a deeper meaning. Our goal is to inspire through kindness by assisting the development of America's next generation," explains Solomon. The book has a team of professional athletes including Bill Bates, Mark Brunell, and Don Mattingly, devoted to visiting hospitals, schools and youth programs.

"Bob Solomon's heartfelt stories have spawned an unstoppable movement through his charitable heart and an unmatched passion to help children. We plan on storming the globe, sharing the message of kindness, and inspiring our youth 'to never give up.' Sports and professional athletes will join together to 'make a difference' in children's lives. This amazing story and movement is a runaway train, and it will one day bring the humanity back to all of the sports we hold dear by employing our greatest resource: People." Doug Glanville ESPN