What can we pass on to the generations below us? Beyond the building blocks of basic needs and growth and education, there is the sharing of the good. Let's teach our children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren about what it means to give and to be kind and gracious.
School has started. It is a difficult time for those without friends. It is difficult, too, for those who are different in some way. Maybe they're shy. Or have a limp. Or use a wheelchair. Or don't have nice clothes. Or aren't fed breakfast at home and are ravenous and grumpy. Or get pulled out of class for extra math help. Or they stay back in the shadows because they don't look like everyone else.
What have we taught our children and nieces and nephews and grandchildren about how to ensure that a child isn't alone or persecuted? Maybe we teach them to smile and say hello. Perhaps they're confident enough to sit next to or make friends with that child who is different.
From Kindergarten to College...there are kids feeling alone and isolated, misunderstood, different, unloved, unnoticed.
Let's notice someone in the right way. Don't let him or her walk alone, sit alone, play alone. Don't let that young person be persecuted or taunted or teased. Don't let that kid continue to think they are too different or not worthy of being loved enough. Because they aren't too different. And if they aren't loved enough right now, that can change. Their worlds will expand as they grow older. They will meet more people with whom they have things in common. They will find more and more acceptance. They don't know that yet. That life can get better and good people are out that will care about them. That they can grow up and find acceptance in the life they create for themselves.
But for now, today, let's teach our kids that this is their responsibility. To notice that someone is in need, and that maybe all they need right at that moment is a kind word or a smile. It is not enough to teach our children to try not create pain in the world or simply have strength against the pain in the world. Let's teach them to change the pain in the world. It all begins small. But it doesn't end small. It becomes a community of people helping each other and creating good.
Dalai Lama- "It’s in our interest to take care of others. Self-centredness is opposed to basic human nature. In our own interest as human beings we need to pay attention to our inner values. Sometimes people think compassion is only of help to others, while we get no benefit. This is a mistake. When you concern yourself with others, you naturally develop a sense of self-confidence. To help others takes courage and inner strength."