LEXINGTON, Ky. (11/22/13) — For years, Shannon Barnes said he lived a life that he felt like he couldn’t escape. Last year, he went through a divorce. He remembers being at work one day and feeling like a tree with someone else's leaves taped onto him.
“I didn’t feel genuine anymore, I felt like I was someone that (someone else) wanted me to be,” Barnes said. “ I didn’t want my children to learn that type of behavior.”
Barnes decided to write a children’s book that would teach them it is O.K. to be yourself and go away from the everyday norm that society wants you to be.
“I decided to base the story about a young bird who is found by ostriches,” Barnes said. “The ostriches thought he looked weird because the baby bird didn’t look like them, so they taped their feathers all over him.”
Barnes said that until one grasps that you love yourself and believe in yourself, you are bound to listen to everyone around you and become a person that they want you to be.
“Kids feel with their heart, and as adults we learn to shut out our feelings and feel with our mind,” Barnes said. “By the end of the book, the young bird blossoms in his own time with love in his heart and becomes a colorful, vibrant bird.”
Barnes was living a life before where the love he had for himself only came from those around him, where now he loves himself so nothing else really matters.
“The whole point of this book is to put it in children’s heads that what people think of you isn’t the most important thing in the world,” Barnes said. “When you figure out what you want, how you want to feel, and where you want to go, everything falls into place as soon as you step away from being stuck behind the image of what someone else has given you.”
After ridding himself of false feathers, Barnes is now working on his second book that will be available in April. The book is about a 6 year old girl, who has fought her way through life with Hemiplegia.
“It’s a true story about a young girl who has had to work harder to get done as much as everyone else,” Barnes said. “Instead of the book being about her having this disease, it has her living in a place called Hemiplegia and showing the adventures and obstacles that she has to go through while living there and finally reaching her dreams that she has worked so hard for.”
Barnes wants people to look at her and admire her for everything that she has accomplished so far at a young age, not what she was diagnosed with. A percentage of the money that he makes selling this book will be donated to the Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association.
“I plan on writing books that will positively affect those who read them,” Barnes said. “It’s the basic stuff that we kind of grow into, but the bottom line is that we all have to believe in ourselves.”
To find out more information on Shannon or to purchase one of the books visit www.littlelightrelay.com.
“Always shine your brightest, always trust your wings.”
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