In 1814, Sir David Brewster did experiments on light polarizations by creating reflections between plates of glass. He continued with his experiements and continued noticing reflections that would take different shapes as he moved the mirrors. The kaleidoscope was patented in 1817 by Brewster and sold as a toy, but had value for a pattern designer.

Now scientists understand more thoroughly, that a kaleidoscope works by reflecting light. Light travels in a straight line, but when it bumps into something it changes direction. Today’s kaleidoscopes have mirrors at both ends, and when you point the kaleidoscope toward the light, the light enters the kaleidoscope and reflects back and forth between the shiny surfaces inside the toy. As a young girl, I did not understand the science behind the kaleidoscope given to me for Christmas,. But the magic behind the beautiful colors and patterns that the kaleidoscope made were intoxicating. The toy made trips with me to Mississippi while I was in the backseat of our station wagon, and I pointed my toy towards the sun and kept myself busy looking at the beautiful colors swirling around. I loved the symmetry of the shapes, and I would predict which shape would come next as I would slowly turn my toy.

Have you ever considered that people are like kaleidoscopes? To learn how to walk, talk, and be independent, we mirror the actions of others in our lives. As a teacher, my hope is that my students can mirror my actions and I can have a positive impact on who they become as future citizens of this country. If I behave with wonder and love, will my students also look to the world with wonder in their eyes and love in their hearts? If I act dreadful to others, speak ugly behind people’s backs, will my students mirror that as well? The fact is, we are programmed to learn from others from the very beginning. As tiny humans, we cannot survive if someone doesn’t care for our basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. But to truly thrive, we need someone to be the light in our lives, just like the kaleidoscope needs light to produce it’s beauty. It is not enough to do tasks for people, to bring them dinner or to wish them Happy Birthday if there is not light behind those actions and words.

The true magic behind the kaleidoscope is the light. Jesus was sent to this earth, to be the light of the world. The most absolute truth is, that without Jesus dying for our sins, we would not have eternal life. It is the very best gift you can be given, but just like any gift you’ve ever been given, you must receive it. It is the only gift that matters.

Kaleidoscopes bring happiness to children because of the beautiful shapes and pictures they make. Imagine the joy a relationship with Jesus, “The Light of the World,” can make in the lives of those you love.

Blessings Sweet Friends,


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