Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Learning from Capucine

A while back, I posted on an old saying that actors use which apparently originated with comedian W. C. Fields. “Never work with animals and children.” Actors are wary of kids because they understand their screen-grabbing power all too well. There must be nothing worse than acting your heart out only to find the audience’s attention riveted on a child in the background trying to help a dog chase its tail. The authenticity, frankness, energy, and let’s face it, all-round cuteness of children, is extraordinary.

Recently I saw a wonderful expression of these great kid qualities in action. A young French girl, Capucine, set out with her mother to raise money for children in Mongolia. Enthusiastic and open-hearted, their motivation was simple. Capucine is four and goes to a school where she has lots of books but has learnt that there are many children who have neither schools nor books. She wanted to do something about it. What followed is a practical demonstration of a child helping to make the world a better place – in collaboration with the marvellous energy of her mother.

Usually a little girl and her mother can not reach much further than their friends, family, and neighbors with their fund-raising efforts, but Edurelief used the video sharing site, Vimeo, as a way to touch the world. Capucine now has a global fan club, and no wonder, as we check out a series of simple videos featuring Capucine earnestly discussing why it is important for people to buy the t-shirts her mother has made and raise money for books for children in Mongolia. I’m not sure why Capucine has picked Mongolia, but she is so enchanting we can only agree with her.

Capucine is such a compelling communicator because she does it her way. She has a story to tell, she makes her own connections between her privileged life and the lives of children in Mongolia, and (best of all) she has a solution we can be part of. It’s a lesson to anyone in the storytelling business. Spend some time with Capucine and in exchange for your master class in communication, make a well-earned donation.

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