We live, as the Chinese saying goes, in “interesting times.” Wild politics. A fragile global economy. A fundamental shift in the distribution of wealth. It’s hard to navigate these treacherous waters no matter who you are. Taking rather than giving seems to be the underlying mandate. The unspoken theme? “How do I hold onto what I have … or get more of it if that’s even possible?”
That’s mostly “adult talk.” So, what about the children? How do we prepare them to navigate these waters? I vote for kindness; more specifically, I vote for teaching our kids about the joy of giving rather than taking.
The other day, I came across a wonderful article on how we can help our kids understand — and practice — the joy of giving.
The article names five practices for parents; in brief:
- Be intentional — Make a point of talking to your children about giving and charity
- Think beyond your family — Let children know that they’re part of a larger community; even that they are “global citizens”
- Involve kids in decisions — Include your children in discussions about to whom something should be given and why
- Gift outside the box — Consider the value of giving experiences not just things
- Include the art of receiving — Learning how to receive gifts gracefully and with gratitude is as important as giving
This deceptively simple piece, and the wisdom it offers, might just renew your faith in what it means to be human. It did for me.
If after reading this intriguing article, you’re moved by its insights, share it with others. Our future depends on it. Let me know what you think.