Popcorn, Haircuts, and Other Changes
You did it.
You just made a change.
This page was closed, but now it is open.
Some things change all at once.
- Young people grow old.
Days turn into nights.
Short hair grows long.
Some things change more slowly.
- Like a popcorn kernel that suddenly pops.
Or a birthday party when everyone shouts, "Surprise!"
Or a cloudburst that drenches everyone to the bone,
Or a lamp that changes a room from dark to light.
Some changes are happy and exciting
- Like a tree growing a little every day,
Or an ice cube melting in a cold drink,
Or the way the clock moves when you're
waiting for recess to begin.
Some changes are scary
- Like the day in Spring when green buds appear
Or the start of a race when all the runners take off
Or when you leave home to go on a vacation.
Some changes are both exciting and a little bit scary
- Like a house burning down
Or a car screeching to a stop
Or an earthquake that shakes the ground
- Like the first day of a new school
Or a roller coaster ride
Or learning to swim, or ride a bike.
How Things Change
Change happens only when something makes it happen--something inside or outside, pushing or pulling, holding or letting go, saying 'yes' or saying 'no'.
Change is like a tug-of-war with two sides pulling in opposite directions. For something to change, one side has to pull harder than the other.
- A sturdy tree stands many years, until lighting or wind comes along
to knock it down.
Traffic keeps moving, until a red light tells it to stop.
We keep drinking until we aren't thirsty anymore.
One side is usually stronger, more important, or easier to see than the other side.
- When a door is stuck, you need to push or pull hard to open it.
An elevator has to be very strong to lift up a load of people
weighing it down.
Sometimes you have to argue very hard to change someone's mind.
Changes start little by little with each side pushing or pulling against the other.
- When one team is winning, they are the stronger side at that
When your body is stronger than any germs, you feel healthy, not
When a volcano is erupting, it is so strong that not even a mountain
can hold it down.
- We blow up a small balloon, and it gets bigger and bigger.
A baby tooth ready to come out gets looser every day.
Our bedroom starts out neat and clean, but gets messier and
messier as time goes by.
A cold popcorn kernel being cooked gets hotter and hotter
In time there comes a turning point.
Like the popping balloon and popcorn some turning points are easy to see.
- When a balloon gets too big, it pops.
When a new tooth pushes far enough, a loose baby tooth falls out.
At some point your room becomes so messy that you decide to
clean it up.
When the tiny drop of water inside a popcorn kernel turns to steam,
the popcorn pops--all at once.
Other times the turning point is hard to see, but it still happens.
- When a match is struck, it bursts into flame
When our sleeping bodies are rested, we wake up.
When a piñata gets one last solid "Whack", the candy spills out.
One day, when it is ready, a butterfly pops out of its cocoon.
When snow on a mountain gets too deep, it falls in a thundering
- Children grow a little every day, until one day there they are--
all grown up.
Over many, many years, wind and rain can change mountains into
grains of sand.
If you start with a big bag of Halloween candy, and eat a little
every day, one day it becomes more empty than full.
Icy winters change into balmy summers, day by day.
Some turning points mark an ending
Some endings are happy.
- Like a street that comes to a dead end
Or going to bed at the end of a day
Or the last day of school before summer vacation.
Some endings are sad.
- Like the kiss at the end of a wedding.
Or a home run that wins a ball game for your team.
But since changes never stop, even endings are new beginnings.
- Like falling off a bike.
Or saying good-bye to a friend if you move away.
- When the school year ends, summer vacation begins.
If you fall off a bike, you can get up and try to ride again.
If you move away, you can make new friends, and keep in touch
with all your friends by email.
Circles and Spirals
Some changes go in circles, returning to where they started.
Some changes go in spirals--they look like they come back to where they started, but something is different.
- Like a Ferris wheel that goes up and comes back down to the same
Or the day which turns into night and then into day
Or the seasons--Winter--Spring--Summer--Fall--and Winter again
Or our breathing--in and out and in
- Like a winding staircase that moves in a circle, but comes around to
a higher point.
Or going to school and coming back home, but learning more about
the world every day.
Or losing something; then finding it, and then putting it in a special
place so you won't lose it again.
Or like children growing up to be parents with children of their own.
Now you know how things change. Do you also know that you are powerful and that you can make all sorts of changes?
Some changes are simple to make.
Some changes take a bit more effort.
- If you don't like a TV show, you can change the channel or turn the
If you don't like your hair style, you can cut it differently next
In our world, if you work with other people, you can help make many changes.
- If you want to play the piano, you can study and practice and learn.
If you are shy or lonely, you can join a club and find people who
like the same things you do.
If you are mean to someone, you can say you're sorry.
And if someone is mean to you, you can learn to forgive.
If everyone pulls together we can learn how to solve even big problems. We can change--
- For safer streets people can work to put up stop signs and traffic
To make our neighborhoods clean, we can help pick up trash.
Now you are coming to another turning point--the end of this web page. Has reading this made a change in you?
- Sickness to health
Poverty to wealth
War to peace
Famine to feast.
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