Smashing Walnuts


I want to begin by looking at the picture above. This is a little activity a blogging mother created for her children, but we have all been in science classes where we were able to participate in something similar. So my question for you is: How did you get your boat to make it to the other side? Did you talk to it? Tell it to “Get moving!” Or perhaps, “I’d like it if you got to the other side.” How’d that work out for you? Maybe you gave it a swift little push. Did that work?

If you were smart, like the little girls in the picture, you would have blown on it continuously, with constant effort, until it reached the other side. To get something moving, it takes ACTION. Will the boat move if you talk to it? Give it some words of encouragement to get it going across the water? I’m sorry, no. This is what Gabriella Miller teaches us in her speech about raising awareness for childhood cancer:

stop talking start doing

Remember last February when the impossible feat of defining “love” was achieved through the story of the Long brothers? Get ready for “inspire” to be defined. This ten-year-old’s speech will leave you in awe. She truly knows how to inspire through her words, ACTIONS, and relentless attitude.

Did you know the word “inspire” comes from the latin word “inspirare,” meaning “to breathe or blow into”? Gabriella has achieved so much in her short lifetime. She has given all of her breath to keep the efforts (little boats) moving. We owe this much to her: to continue what she has started.

The goal is this:

walnut boat

Give the walnuts sails so they can travel near and far to spread the word. (RAISE CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS).

walnut boat race

Now, with our breath, keep the walnut boats MOVING. Keep the ACTION GOING. (Be ACTIVE in the fight against childhood cancer).

smashing walnuts

Then, one day, all the walnuts will be smashed the second they’re discovered. (Find a CURE).

If you agree that Gabriella defines the word “inspire” through her words and her ACTIONS, please post in the comments section the type of action you will take to raise awareness for childhood cancer. I want her to know that we will continue to fight for her cause when she is no longer able to do it herself. This way, as “We are the champions,” the song she plays at the end of her speech says, she will “go on and on and on and on.”

I will leave you with this, Gabriella’s quote that she typically ends her speeches with: “You may have a bad day today, but there’s always a bright, shining star to look forward to tomorrow.”


Check out this outtake reel where Gabriella tells it like it is:

To purchase Gabriella’s book, visit:

“Like” Gabriella’s Facebook page here:


One thought on “Smashing Walnuts

  1. I will spread awareness for childhood cancer through my blog and in my every day life. I will become the best child life specialist I can possibly be. I will learn everything I possibly can that will help me help children in hospitals through the tough times. I have purchased your book to keep in my future child life library, so that you can continue to inspire others long after you’re gone. I will always remember your tenacity and fiery spirit whenever I’ve had a bad day or think something seems impossible. I will laugh when I think about your giggle after you said, “Talk is bullsh*t” then I will do my best to help others laugh. I now know the true meaning of “inspire” and the chills you gave me when I listened to your speech will motivate me to start doing more. There is always more that can be done. Thank you, Gabriella, for being a true inspiration and not only a dreamer, but a DO-ER.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s