On Monday, I assisted my soon-to-be stepson achieve his first grade assignment for Martin Luther King Day. He had to do an act of kindness of which he was adamant about not doing. His father and I, at separate times, told him that it was an important thing to do; not just because it was his assignment, but because kindness is important. I told My Love that his son has books that he’s outgrown for his reading level and should sort through them and I’d take him to find a place to donate them. The books were sorted through and we ventured out. On the ride, I explained that there are children who do not have the luxuries he has and that when kindness is extended, it makes one feel good knowing that they’ve helped another. I further explained that each day, whether we realize it or not, someone does something nice for us. He seemed to get it.
I pulled into the parking lot of a local church and we went in; books in tow. I explained why we were there and the ladies thought it was a lovely gesture and explained to my Stepson that his actions were greatly appreciated and the books would get good use at the church. The lady wrote a letter to my Stepson’s school explaining his act and how much it was appreciated. Lesson learned…at least I hope it was anyway.
Sadly, many children are no longer taught the importance of acts of kindness. So many are spoiled and overindulged to the point of hedonism and narcissism. They expect things to be given to them at will and without challenge. This is a sad state of affairs for them, their parents, and their future lives if this behaviour is not corrected.
When Lil Lady was small, I saw early on that she was blessed with a compassionate heart and I nurtured and encouraged it. On one of her first trips to New York City, she was fascinated by the many sights and sounds surrounding her, but the thing that stood out the most, was how she reacted to the people she saw. She sized them up, she inquired about their varied appearances, and was take aback by the homeless. She inquired and I explained that sometimes things happen to people and they have to live on the streets and beg for food or other items to make it through the day. I bought fruit from a street vendor as we passed a homeless person and we carried on our way. On the trip back to Port Authority, she asked if she could buy more fruit, but give it to the homeless person we saw. I explained that he might not be there, but on our next trip she could buy two pieces of fruit and give one away. She was quite happy with that and from henceforth, that’s something she did. A mother’s heart exploded with joy for her daughters compassion. This practice went on for many years and also carried on to helping with the Angel Tree at the church we were then attending. The requirement was to pick a name and then fill a shoe box with small items we thought a child would like. This, I was told, I was not allowed to help with. A little bit of her birthday money was saved and it went toward the shoe box. Of course, I contributed where necessary, but the selection and packing was all her. Again, lessons learned!
Suffice it to say, if we do not install these practices not just in ourselves, but in our children, we can’t expect them to take acts of kindness seriously. Personally, I strive to give back as much as I can be items donated, a small sum of money, or my time. My Love and I discussed ways we could volunteer as a family and individuals. I’ve found an organization that collects donated items for families in need and we’re going to aid once a month is sorting through donated items and prepare them for said families. I’ve decided I want to be a part of Girls Inc. in order to help young girls. I’m not sure what My Love will find to do, but I’ll help him find something.
As we look at our lives, let us not forget how we got to where we are. Let us recognize and realize, many acts of kindness was a part of that journey. And once you’ve looked back, I hope you’ll find ways to perform your acts of kindness whenever you can.
I came across this site and it warmed my heart greatly. May it serve as an inspiration to you also.