PLANO - There's been a lot of talk about being different lately, and a lot of that talk isn't very friendly. Maybe that's why Mayor Harry LaRosiliere of Plano was at Rice Middle School Thursday, celebrating "Everyone Matters Day."
"Everyone Matters Day is a day for us to highlight our uniqueness and our individuality," the Mayor said. " And we wanted to be able to accentuate that and how everyone is special in our city."
Well, that's a nice thought. And a timely one.
The festivities at Rice included christening a "tree" made of handprints with fun facts about parents, teachers and students.
But the main theme of the day wasn't about how different we are all. It was about making a difference.
"Life's so busy and we have so much going on that we tend to forget how much of an effect we have on the people that surround us," said Rice eighth-grader Adeline Baumbach.
Fellow eighth-grader David Tallant added, "And this is one of the things that's a big problem in the world, with everything that's going on today."
So, what advice do these kids have for the rest of us?
"One little thing that makes such a big difference is smiling," Adeline said, "Smiling at each and everyone makes them feel like they matter, and they do."
"Recognize everyone," said David. "And just make sure that everyone belongs in some way."
Now those are words that matter.