8 Energize Around a Shared Reality


Oh, I know what heaven is,” the four-year-old girl explained matter-offactly to the doctor. Then with a broad smile, she said, “I’ve seen heaven.”

The doctor grinned at the young girl, then at her parents. Before the appointment, the adults in the room had made a decision: The little girl’s life-threatening illness had worsened. There wasn’t much time left. With hearts that only those who’ve endured such a situation can ever know, they decided to try to talk with the child about what was going to happen. With good intentions, they had asked the girl, “Do you know what heaven is?”

Sometimes, though, even the brightest doctors aren’t as smart as children. After being told that she had seen heaven, the doctor said, “Oh you have, have you? What did heaven look like?”

Without fear or doubt, the girl confidently answered, “It’s a magical place where they serve ice cream in the morning!” Her smile was so broad and big that it now lives beyond her life—and in the hearts of those who made sure she knew a heaven on earth.

“The child wasn’t afraid of dying,” said Pam Landwirth, CEO of Give Kids The World. The phone line was quiet for a moment as we all lived in the space of a miracle for a moment. Then Pam added, “That’s why we do what we do.”

No one takes their business imperative more seriously than the team at Give Kids The World (GKTW). Founded by Henri ...

Get Do Big Things now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.