Thursday, December 05 2013 10:00

Sprout Kindness Crew: Learning & Growing - Being Kind to Animals

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Originally Posted at SproutOnline on 12/05/2013. Rescued via Internet Archive 10/26/2015

As a parent, it’s fascinating to see my daughters learning their place in the world while interacting not only with the other Sproutlets that we might encounter, but also through contact with the creatures that share our space.

400SPROUT KINDNESS CREWA gentle touch to the praying mantis in the garden; a respectful admiration of the butterflies and bees on our flowers; an enthusiastic hug for the neighbors’ dogs (after asking if it’s ok, of course)… in many ways, it seems that being kind to animalsis easier for little ones than immediately being kind to one another (“kind hands,” goes the reminder). But they’re learning.

The newest member of our family is a brilliantly-colored red Betta fish that my oldest daughter, Addie (she’s four) named “Lula” within minutes of meeting. While Lula has only been living in her glass “apartment” atop my daughter’s dresser for a couple of weeks, the kindness that Addie has shown toward “her” (Lula is actually a boy) is really something to see. “She’s very happy to be living with us,” Addie has repeatedly told me during feeding time.

Each night, just before bed, with Caillou and Chica looking on, Addie recites a poem to Lula… a poem that she has heard Nina speak on The Good Night Show countless times before…

"Hush, hush little fish. We are here to make a wish. We close our eyes, and then we start. To make a wish with all our heart."

It’s a little gesture that means a lot, because “small acts matter big.” While Lula might not really understand what’s going on, Kindness Counts, and for a kid? Being kind makes them feel like they’re at the top of the world.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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