When I was thirteen years old, I attended a summer camp in Morristown, New Jersey. It was a great summer, and I still have many great memories from it.

One of the camp activities was, and still is, to have a camp-wide Shabbat dinner on Friday night. For me, it was a real highlight to look forward to. We'd eat together, sing Shabbat songs and tell stories.

During that summer my mother had a baby boy. Boy, was I excited! I got the good news at the end of the week, a Thursday I belive, while we were on a boating trip.

That Friday night, like all Friday nights, we were all sitting at the Shabbat dinner. The head counselor was speaking, and he was reviewing the various activities, trip, games and sports that the camp had participated in over the week.

In the middle, he stopped and said that he'd like to congratulate one of the campers on the birth of a new baby brother - he was talking about me! For a thirteen year old boy that is very exciting.

He continued talking: "This camper is a great kid, who takes his prayers very seriously". I heard that, and honestly did not know what he was talking about. Me, great kid who takes prayers seriously? At that point in my life the daily prayers could have garnered a little bit more of my attention.

Yet the next morning, when the camp was doing the morning prayers, I stopped to concentrate on the words I was saying. After all, I'm supposed to be the kid who "takes his prayers seriously!" So I took my time, said every word clearly, and thought about what I was saying. And you know what? I liked it! It was inspiring, moving and spiritually uplifting to be able to actually have a personal audience with the creator of the universe.

The entire year after that, the daily prayers took on a whole new meaning for me.

We are always looking for ways on how to inspire our children, friends and family. One kind word, especially to a child, can go a long, long way. We might not see the results right away, but the results are always there. Sometimes it's one single word or smile that can literally change someone's life. We have a tremendous amount of inspiration at our disposal, why not use it?

Rabbi Avrohom