When you were growing up, as a young child, did you ever feel different from others? Perhaps based on the color of your skin, or the way you dressed, or the things you most enjoyed doing or the books you liked to read? Or something else that you felt separated you from others.
I would imagine the answer for most of us would be yes.
Do you feel that those ‘differences’ at times caused you to well, act differently, in different settings? Maybe you even slowly started to let go of doing things that made your heart sing because you wanted to fit in. You perhaps were afraid of what others would think. And a doubt took hold in your consciousness, that perhaps you could not be loved simply for being yourself.
Raised in a traditional Indian culture, I have witnessed first-hand how the needs of family and society can drown out the heart song of the individual. As a physician, I also know that nurturing our innate gifts and talents is key to health and healing. Finally, as a pediatrician, mother and writer, I love to find stories that illustrate these profound truths in way that even a child can understand.
And for this week’s newsletter I am so happy to share a wonderful children’s book, Made by Raffi, an original story about a young boy who feels different. This is the first children’s book by Craig Pomranz, an internationally known singer/song-stylist, and actor. Made by Raffi also has beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Margaret Chamberlain.
Raffi is a shy young boy who does not like yelling, tumbling, throwing or rough play like the other kids. He often is teased by the other children. One day he learns to knit from one of his teachers. Soon, he discovers he loves to knit! This allows him to focus so he can feel calm and peaceful. But the other kids think it is ‘girly’ to knit.
Will Raffi give up his joy of knitting to ‘fit in’ with the other kids? Can he be true to himself and also find a way to connect with the other kids?
If you are curious to read more, you can buy this book at local bookstores or you can purchase online here.
There is also a beautiful song, Different, that was written especially for this book and sung by Craig Pomranz which you can listen to here.
Both the book and the song share a powerful message which is so important especially now when we need to honor differences and reaffirm our fundamental interconnectedness. As A Course in Miracles teaches, the external forms can deceive us from seeing that our content- that which we truly are- beneath the various forms- is always Love.
I had a wonderful opportunity this past week to interview Craig. He shared about his inspiration to write this book based on a true-life experience with his godson. Craig also discussed about his own journey from being a shy young boy to one of NYC’s most critically acclaimed saloon singers. He talked about how nurturing his talent for singing and acting at a young age helped not only overcome his shyness but also connect deeply with others. You can listen to the interview below.