“Give, even if you only have a little.”
Mo was 20 months old when her little sister, Gigi, was born. Yet, we immediately enlisted Mo as a care-giver for the new baby in hopes of alleviating fear, insecurity or confusion about this updated version of our family life. When we’d ask Mo if “her baby” was warm enough, she’d cover her up with a blanket. Before long, as we continued to ask Mo if “her baby” needed anything, she was one step ahead of us getting the pacifier, a toy or a stuffed animal for her sister. Once Gigi could eat solid foods, you can imagine how many Gerber puffs and yogurt melts she ate with the help of her sister, who was always trying to serve her!
Serving the needs of others.
The message we were sending Mo was simply thinking of someone else and helping them if they need help, will make you feel genuinely happy and a part of something bigger in your life.
There are multiple verses about serving others in the Bible.
In 1 Peter 4:10 it says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Since Mo could walk and Gigi couldn’t, she used this “gift” to get the things that were out of reach for her baby sister. I think we overcomplicate what signifies our gifts. It’s not a million dollars in the bank, it’s what you can do to serve in this very moment.
Read something written by the Dalai Lama and you’ll find wisdom on serving with compassion.
The Buddha said, “If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.” The joy and satisfaction that Mo felt was evident through her loving gestures and it was a daily practice in being compassionate. We need more compassion in our world and it starts at home.
The Tao Te Ching states:
“Serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled. Through selfless action, fulfillment is attained.” Kids can feel this just like adults. Show them how to be of service and you will see them light up from within.
Throw kindness around like confetti.
Here are three things you can do with your child today to serve others:
- Write a letter or draw a picture for a loved one who lives far away.
- Bake or buy cookies for a neighbor, local firehouse or police station and deliver them with your child.
- Leave a post-it note in a public place that says something inspiring on it; “You are beautiful!” or “You are loved exactly as you are.”, and let your child pick the perfect place to put it.
It’s up to us as parents to model kindness. Who’s with me? Leave a comment on the blog or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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