It just dawned on me that all kids are altruistic. Somehow somewhere along the line, they learn the mentality of scarcity and start to hoard things for themselves.
Last week, I was discussing the issue of happiness with them and trying to impress on them that we don’t need material things to be happy, but if we learn to give from our hearts, that’s where we will find happiness.
We were sponsored a really beautiful shower head from GROHE and I used the opportunity to ask them if they would like to give that up to another child. I made it real to them by telling them that many other children are not as lucky as them to be living in a big new house with such nice spacious bathrooms, and a gift like that would surely brighten up another child’s day. Honestly I was surprised that they agreed to give it away without much hesitation (although #3 did say, “But it’s really really nice, mum”). I’m quite sure that was the end of it for them and they never thought about it again.
But you know what? I thought about it the whole day. Especially when I read your comments on our Facebook page about how pretty it was and how delighted your kids would be to receive it. And I was asking myself why in the world did I suggest to the kids to give it away.
|“Give money to the cow?”|
I thought back to the other times when I asked them to be charitable and their generosity became apparent to me. The fact that #4 decided to donate her entire collection of rainbow loom charms to raise funds for the chronically ill children without second thought. The previous time when I asked them if they would like to donate any of their pocket money to help the dear elderly nuns, I told them the story of how their convent was old and leaking. #1 did not donate, but the other girls donated between $30 and $120 each, and #5 even told me to take all the money from his piggy bank.
I realise that so long as you tell kids the story behind it, their natural response is to help. Sadly, as we grow older, we become apathetic to other people’s plight. Perhaps if we keep giving them opportunities to practice being charitable it will become second nature to them.
I am still peering into their hearts and learning from them, and maybe one day, I am able to say “Here, take everything I have.”
Life Lesson #8: Teach our children compassion by little actions
Life Lesson #9: What have we done to our children
Life Lesson #10: Why we went on holiday just before the PSLE
Life Lesson #11: What must kids do for us to stop pushing them over the edge
Life Lesson #13: Confronting death teaches you about life
Life Lesson #14: To measure our lives in love
Life Lesson #15: The day they fly
Life Lesson #16: Do our kids even know we love them
Life Lesson #17: What are we worth, mums
Life Lesson #18: What do you do when you get sick of parenting
Life Lesson #19: The tragedy of our society
Life Lesson #20: Will you teach your girls to find a rich husband
Life Lesson #21: Are we slowly killing ourselves
Life Lesson #22: What does it take to keep a marriage going