If you've ever felt disappointed, anxious, or afraid, let a 6-year-old lend you some perspective.

A surprisingly good how-to for dealing with minor anxiety.

What do kids know about anxiety and fearing change? Actually, a lot.

Kids are pretty much at the whim of whoever's in charge of their activities. The world is full of all kinds of rules they haven't figured out yet (even if it's just what time the pool closes), and they depend a lot on their caregivers to guide them through. That can mean a lot of curveballs, dealing with disappointment, and feeling in the dark about things.

One person who thought a kid might have some helpful insight on anxiety, disappointment, and all-around icky feelings is filmmaker Bianca Giaever.


A film student at the time, she wanted to make a film on anxiety from a child's point of view. She began by sitting down with Asa, a local child, to see if there was some child-like wisdom to glean.

"I was curious to see if a six year old could relate to emotions like anxiety at such a young age. I didn't know that this advice would necessarily come from Asa — I interviewed a few different six year olds for this project by offering free babysitting or just asking. I asked some parents and figured that six years old is the perfect age, when kids can coherently tell a story but aren't self conscious or inhibiting themselves at all yet."
— Bianca Giaever

As it turns out, 6-year-olds are incredibly insightful.

She asked Asa if there was a story that a movie could be made out of. At first, Asa wasn't sure.

All images via Bianca Giaever.

But then it hit him! Asa made up a story worth telling right on the spot. Bianca created visuals for it with drawings and real-life actors (who lip-synced the dialogue) to bring the original tale to life. With Asa's narration, a totally delightful movie was made.

This is the story about Toby Mouse, Asa Bear, and how to fight the scared feelings that life can bring.

Asa Bear and Toby Mouse were great friends and had a lot of fun together — like enjoying one of their favorite activities, swimming at the pool.

But they had to figure out how to deal with disappointment when the pool was closing for the winter. They decided they'd just have to be patient and do some other things until it was open again.

One of the biggest gems of the short movie surfaces when Asa shares a tip for dealing with fear when it occurs: Think about the things you like!

For Asa, one of those things is pizza. Also cookies. (Whoa — I like those things, too!) The story is so well-done and whimsical that if you can spend a few minutes to watch it, it's well worth the time:

This story contains delightfully good advice for many of us when we need a little help getting through times that feel unfamiliar and a bit scary.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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