“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”
— Oren Arnold
Oren Arnold was born in 1900, and what he said in his lifetime holds good even today. It’s simple and yet deep. When he talks about setting a good example to every child, it seems so obvious, but then in our everyday lives we forget it and live very unthinkingly.
Kids look forward to their gifts at Christmas and love opening them. Last year was about resolutions and virtual pet games, but this year, we want the kids to have bigger gifts. The gift of sharing and caring. There is a the millennial generation which understands sharing (of a sort), but younger children need to be reminded. Sometimes kids are naturally sharing. Other times wars break out. We need to bring up our kids who care about people and things around them. Not just sharing as it’s wiser, but to share because they wish to and it’s required, as resource sharing is a way forward. Cropmobster is an example of farming communities sharing their surplus. We can start early by asking our kids to share the gifts they get, with others less fortunate.
We could also take them to an animal shelter to help out. Alternatively, take them to a place where food is served for the less fortunate. Even as we do all this, we can encourage kids strongly not to waste food or other resources. This in itself is a huge saving. Food sharing is a growing social movement in many parts of the world. Sharing surplus food was not uncommon in earlier times, but today it has been forgotten and needs to be revived.
A few days ago, I saw a young child aged 5 or so put a card to her ear as if she were on the phone. Then she used her head and shoulder to keep it in place, continuing an imaginary conversation, and dug around in her bag, just like an adult would. In about a minute, she calmly put away her pretend phone and turned around to her grandmother letting her know that she had finished her call. Then she continued, ‘Mamma does that.’
As parents we forget that our kids watch us all the time. They follow us, learn from us and imbibe many things that we do. If we don’t answer their question when they ask, they think it’s okay to do the same!
We have tried to be good parents. Most times we are(at least that’s what we think we are!) but we need to be aware that we need to set a good example. Well, this Christmas, we are going to give that gift to our children. Along with a few other presents of course!
We’ll go spend some time volunteering. If it touches our kids, who want to come along, I would say we have given them a good gift.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!