I have done research in the areas of autism and child working memory with The University of Melbourne, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Royal Children’s Hospital. Since 2013, I have been scripting letters for people going through difficult life circumstances through The World Needs More Love Letters. In 2014, I was selected as an ambassador for the One Girl organization to raise awareness and funds for girls education in West Africa.
There was one year in primary school in which the teacher introduced us to Valentine’s Day. Everyone was given a secret Valentine in the week leading up. Each day everyone had to write a letter or give a small gift to their special person via their gift box.
Two days in—the teacher asked the class, “Who’s received something from their valentine?”
There was a wave of hands that went up.
“Is there anyone that didn’t get anything from their valentine,” the teacher asked as she looked around the room for raised hands.
One hand goes up, but only at half-mast. That. Was. My. Valentine. She stood there frozen with her face reddening. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten to put something in her gift box. To put it simply—7-year-old Jared had let her down.
I grabbed some scrap bits of paper, penned her an apology and dropped it into her gift box.
More than two decades later I learnt a valuable lesson about love—it’s all the little things that you do for another person day in and day out that shows them how much that they matter to you.