I find myself fighting what seems like a losing battle some days with my son. He thinks he should get to do whatever his heart desires, act any way he likes, whine about what other kids get to do, the kind of toys they get to have, etc…in order to fit in with everyone else, he thinks he has to be just like everyone else. I tell him daily that having THINGS, no matter how flipping many, should not be the source of your happiness. THEN he leaves the house, and BAM! it’s like Mom never said a thing.
I think it is hard to raise a socially responsible child in our disposable society. How can it not be when everything we use day to day can be found at any store, we use our cell phones to instantly pay bills and buy things, when we see television programming that depicts the break down of relationships and families. Does it really take that much time to sit your child down and talk about values? How do I make my son understand the most treasured things he could call his own can not be found for love nor money at the local Walgreen’s or the mall? Respect, honor, empathy, courtesy, self respect, love, just to name a few good ones must be cultivated in each of us for us to see the results. Yet I know that not every parent does this. How do I know? My son tells me how other children use foul language and don’t respect his personal space at school. He sees older children bullying others. Just last week he was exposed to violence by witnessing the fallout of a school shooting where one child disregarded 4 other people and used a gun to express his feelings.
Yet I can not be discouraged. In fact, it makes me want my son to know the satisfaction of helping another human being in need. I want him to be able to say to himself when he is an adult, “I don’t need material things to define who I am.” I want him to be brave enough to give of himself even if those around him discourage it. I want my son to lead where others would only follow.
Each day brings each of us the chance to do something we didn’t do yesterday. It gives us the opportunity to push our limits, step out of our comfort zones and do things we never thought we would be able to do. I know that I must do those things each day as well. I wonder if everyone realized that he or she is a role model for someone, would they care? Do you notice other people around you doing something out of the kindness of their hearts? What would you do if you knew you could help one person make it through tough times or even just one more day by giving assistance in a way only YOU could? Would it matter to you?
I talked about these things as my son was getting ready for bed. I think he understands. I told him it is never to early to learn to be humble, to help others. I am not saying he should make this his life’s work, don’t get me wrong. I simply want to make him more aware of HIS actions and how his interaction with others could impact not only his life, but someone else’s as well. I want him to be aware, so he won’t ever think being rude or hateful is okay. I caught myself rambling on and on as he was climbing under the covers with that jeez Mom look on his face. I smiled at him and said being kind doesn’t cost you a thing son.
You never know, a stranger’s kindness could save your life someday. Would you do the same?