Boy Wonder

By: Alton C. Thompson

Most child “stars” attain that status because they have certain abilities (whether “natural” or acquired), and are “pushed” by their parents. The latter tends to occur not because the parents have the child’s best interests in mind but, rather, because the parents have a psychological need for publicity and fame, and strive to gain those through the child.

Some children gain fame, however, not because they—or their parents—have sought it, but because they have engaged in activities so extraordinary that those activities constitute “news.” And once one “news” organization writes, or broadcasts, a story about the child, other “news” organizations soon become aware of the story, and either further investigate it so that they can prepare their own stories, or simply repeat the original story.

Commentary-->Society (Brave New World)

Commentary–>Society (Brave New World)

The fame gained by Noah Lamaide, a boy who lives with his parents in Stevens Point, Wisconsin (thirty-some miles from where I grew up), seems to be of this latter sort. Noah’s mother’s mother—Janice Sparhawk–had borrowed money to have a roofing job done on her house, but then found herself unable to work because of complications resulting from eye surgery, and a severe case of asthma. As a consequence, Janice was unable to make her mortgage payments, and foreclosure proceedings were begun, with an auction scheduled for February 15 of this year.

That auction didn’t occur, however—because 12-year-old grandson Noah entered the picture. Noah raised over $10,000 on his grandmother’s behalf, thereby saving her from eviction.

This raises two questions:

  • How did this boy acquire the value system that he has?
  • How did a boy that young manage to raise so much money?

The answer to both questions lies partially with the grandmother herself. Over the years Janice had been involved in foster care for literally hundreds of local children, evidently. His mother said of Noah:

“He’s always putting others before himself, even as a little child,” Noah’s mother, Jill Sparhawk Lamaide, said.  “I think he got it from seeing the foster kids come into my mom’s home.  A majority of them said ‘I wish, I could be Noah.'”

Thus, simply by observing the helping nature of his grandmother, young Noah evidently learned that having concern for others was “just the right thing to do.”[1] In addition, however, Noah’s mother played a role in the boy’s moral development, for when Noah was 9, she challenged him to become involved in some sort of service project each year—and Noah rose to the challenge. For his ninth birthday Noah asked those invited to bring food for the local food pantry rather than presents for himself, his guests complied with that request—and they were able to collect a significant amount of food for a local food pantry! (I read some place that enough food was obtained to fill four grocery carts!)

When Noah was 10, with the help of his mother he established a website to solicit money for causes, his first one being to raise money to send a woman (a family friend) with cancer, and her daughter, to Disneyland. Unfortunately, the woman died before Noah had accomplished his goal, but the dad and daughter were able to make that trip in late January of this year—with Noah’s help. He was able to raise a significant amount of money in part because of his grandmother’s reputation locally, in part because of his use of the internet—which enabled him to receive checks from distant places.

Noah doesn’t see himself as any sort of hero, and has simply said, “It just makes me feel happy and like I did something to help the world.” How proud his parents must be of this fine lad! Just thinking about this boy brings tears to my eyes.

As Noah enters his teen years, the pressures that he will face from peers may weaken his resolve to help others—but I hope that it doesn’t. I hope, instead, that he is able to gain enough strength from his parents and his knowledge of the “rightness” of what he has been doing that he becomes a real force as a teen—and so inspires his fellow teens that many of them will choose to follow his example. Time will tell whether this occurs, of course. The pressures in our society for conformity are very powerful, and he may succumb to them.[2] However, if he is able to resist the pressures that he will face, he would be an ideal citizen for the New Society—and I hope that he survives to be one.

My reference here to a “New Society” has its basis in the projection by Prof. Kevin Anderson—an advisor to the British government on climate matters—that “global warming” will likely reduce the world’s population to about 10% of what it is now within 50 years. That is a HUGE reduction, folks! And a sort of projection that you will not read about in the newspapers or popular magazines, and will not see discussed on television—for the simple (but perhaps non-obvious) reason that the energy companies and other interests that control the media are so short-sighted that they deny the reality of “climate change,” and also promote (if but subtly) denial in others. Scientists know, however, that “global warming” is a serious problem that faces us humans at present, and some scientists—such as Kevin Anderson and James Lovelock—are so convinced on this matter that they have issued dire warnings about the future of our species.

Now if the world’s population is severely culled within the next few decades, it follows that societies—with their intricate interactions—will become so disturbed by this culling and its various consequences, that they will collapse—leaving people to somehow fend for themselves. Something most will not be able to do, of course—and they will die prematurely from one cause or another.

However, those who anticipate this culling, and engage in adaptive activities will have a better chance of surviving than the average person. And, I should add that those who have long been pre-adapted for this “event”—for reasons other than deliberate planning (e.g., for religious reasons in the case, e.g., of the Amish)—will also have a good chance to survive.

What I’m hoping, in Noah’s case, is that as he becomes older, he receives an education that enables him to adopt both a societal orientation, and an orientation to the future. It’s highly likely that within the next 10 years the reality of “global warming” will be much more evident than it is now, and that Noah will be one of those who becomes aware that the only way “out” is to work at creating a New Society within the framework of the Existing Order. The New Society Movement needs people like him!


1. This raises the question: Why was his grandmother this way? Two clues suggest to me that her heritage is Native American, so that her value system simply reflects that heritage. First, her name—Sparhawk—sounds Native American. Second, the fact that the web site established for Noah by his mother has the word “dreamcatcher” in it, the fact that Noah sells dream catchers to raise money, and that “dream catchers” are associated with certain Native American cultures suggests that Sparhawk is a Native American.

It’s clear, however, that Noah’s inspiration also comes from Christianity. The January 9, 2012, entry on his web site is as follows:

God’s instruction that we should serve others is unmistakable in Scripture. It’s not a choice that we’re given. It’s a command. God charges us to reach out to those in need – in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces, in our cities and nation, and around the world.

In fact, God issues a specific call that we are to especially look out for “the least, the last, and the lost” – the marginalized and disadvantaged in our society. The widows, the orphans, the sick and the poor.

Did you know that there are over 2,000 verses in the Bible that deal with God’s view on justice & poverty? Verses like this one:

“Stand up for the poor and the orphan; advocate for the rights of the afflicted and those in need.” Psalm 82:3 (The Voice)

I don’t know who wrote this for his web site, but would guess that his mother did.

2. Eugene Linden, for example, has referred to the “screw your buddy” ethics of this society. Affluence and Discontent, 1979, p. 97.

About the author: Al Thompson works (data management) for an Engineering (Avionics) firm in Milwaukee. Click here to mail him.

This article has 1 comments

  1. jungleintherumble

    interesting post..maybe being great at something is good for the ego and breaks up the monotony of life? but maybe it’s not worth it, and we should just eat and sleep our way into oblivion?