I watched him run. He was ready. He had joy on his face. Every lap counted. He was running for charity and he is only a pre-schooler. Other, older and bigger kids ran further and longer, but he was giving it his best. He had a great attitude. He was making a difference greater than he probably understood. Crosby was helping. Twice as I was watching, he stopped briefly and talked to me. I felt honored. Though we see each other regularly at church, this was the most conversation we ever had.
Crosby taught me an important lesson. Even young children can give to others. Sometimes as parents we get in the way. We may think they can’t do much or they are too young. True he could not address the letters that were mailed requesting support, but he did the running.
Helping our children develop giving hearts can be challenging. Like many other worthwhile endeavors it takes time, energy, and a little creativity. Children often have plenty of all of these. They may have some wild and crazy ideas and some of those may be perfect.
Why not challenge yourself and your children to discover ways to give to others. Perhaps start with one project per season of the year. It could be as simple as raking the neighbor’s leaves or taking them some homemade pumpkin muffins. Try sharing some of those surplus tomatoes from your garden.
Giving to others makes us better people. It helps us to focus on others’ needs and less on ourselves. As we share our stuff with others, our stuff becomes a little less important to us and the people become more important.
Recently one of our local high school sewing classes made colorful pillowcases for a hospital pediatric ward. I applaud these students and their teacher for using their abilities to serve others. I am continually amazed at the generosity of my city.
What has your family done to serve someone else? How have you managed to involve your children? Please share your ideas.