Yesterday as I was taking the bus to drop off Phineas at daycare, a little girl and her mother sat next to us. There was something about this little girl. She was so full of light. When she smiled her whole body smiled.
“Excuse me,” she said. “Your dog is so cute!”
She giggled with her mom, spotted her teacher on the bus, and gave her infant sister a kiss. This little girl was magnetic. There was clearly a lot of love between her and her mom.
On my way home from work, I saw this same little girl. She recognized me and Phineas. She still sparkled but a little less so now. She had 3 of her cousins and her aunt with her. One of the cousins was trying to tell her mother that one of her teachers said she had a real gift for painting. The mother barely paid attention to her.
All of the kids were very interested in Phineas and had lots of questions about him, which I was happy to answer. Their aunt was not thrilled about them talking to me. She yelled at them several times, and made more eye contact with the game on her phone than with any of the kids she was supposed to be watching.
As it turned out, we all got out at the same stop. They live just across the street from me in a housing project. There was something about that made me so sad, and then it made me angry. Here was this amazing little girl, so clearly bright and in love with life, and she deserves to have that light honored and supported.
While I understand that children are resilient, I also know that what is said to them, or not said to them, makes a world of difference as they grow up and become adults. Listen to children. Honor them. Respect them. Understand that every action and every word we express now has such an outsized impact on them. They need us and we need them if we’re going to build a better world. And a better world is what we all deserve.
Published by Christa Avampato
The short of it:
Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day.
The long of it:
My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events.
While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series.
A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist.
I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media:
• I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference;
• I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable;
• I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me.
Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.
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