Lately my sweet girls are driving me nuts. They’re in a fighting phase and as with all phases, I feel it will never end. What if they never learn to share? I feel like I say “Share!” and “You have to learn to get along!” too many times a day.
Share with others. It has to be on the list of every early learning classroom on the planet. Children are bombarded with the idea. Their egocentric minds must constantly be reminded of the fact.
We say it to them all day long. But how many of us are doing it ourselves? Are we generous with what we’ve been given? Do we give of ourselves to serve others? Despite the presence of the Golden Rule in nearly every religion, in today’s world the idea is almost radical.
We rush to be first in line. We cut each other off in traffic. We say “Every man for himself” and “It’s a dog eat dog world”. We say it so much we believe it. We forget to stop and look at what’s really going on around us. Then we expect our children to peacefully pass the blue crayon.
Not long ago, AP had to complete a project about sharing at church. The children traced and cut out “sharing hands” and then stapled them to a booklet with blank pages. They were to draw ways they could use their sharing hands. There in the middle of her booklet, my daughter drew a stick figure on a roof, hammering. When I asked her what it was she said, “It’s Daddy helping people in Guatemala build their house.”
Last summer, my husband and I left our children for 8 days to help take a group of teenagers to the western highlands of Guatemala on a mission trip. We talked quite a bit about it with our children before and after the trip. We gave up our yearly vacation for the opportunity and we wanted them to know that sacrifices in life can bring special things. And then, months later, I see that the most important part stayed with her. We were sharing with others.
Part of my calling is to take trips like Guatemala. But you don’t have to go far to find opportunities to share. There are needs right outside your front door.
When was the last time you gave up something to meet the needs of someone else? Try it. Open up to a new experience. Let that car in next time you’re in traffic. Help out a neighbor. Or get involved in something. Volunteer with your kids.
Simply said, give more of yourself. It’s easier than you think. And I can guarantee one thing. Little eyes are watching.