In passing not too long ago I heard someone say, “One day they’ll rule the world, but I’m not so sure that is a good thing!” That day this person was referring to a couple of three year olds deep in thought building their woodwork masterpiece while pushing and shoving to get the best paintbrush but in theory, she was right. It flooded my senses with many thoughts and feelings. Is this a good thing or bad? There are moments we marvel at the ability of children these days from teaching us how to operate technology to how to love fully and unconditionally with reckless abandon. They can be such masterful teachers at times to us with the concepts they can comprehend at such a young age and the wisdom that flows from their mouths at the most unexpected moments. They surprise and amaze us daily so it seems. However many would argue in today’s time with a generation that has been bombarded with a mentality of “me” and self-serving ideologies from media to role models and even at times through adult influences that we are fighting an uphill battle. We are becoming more disconnected, segregated, materialistic, and stressed out. Yes, even these three year olds were completely stressed out.
Everyone has their strong opinions as to why we are seeing such a rise in violence in schools and instances in school shootings, episodes of extreme bullying and children that are bombarded with medications. I am not here to shed my opinion on many but rather pose a simple question. A question that I have asked myself constantly for the past year:
What if kindness, charity, and compassion became a main focus in our daily lives? Could we change the world for our kids for the better?
I am sure I not alone when I say I fear what the world will look like in 5 or 10 years sending my kids to school in a place that appears to be so full of children and young adults that are isolated, sad, confused, lost and alone. Unfortunately what we have seen more of in recent years is that these traits turn into hatred and anger and produce catastrophic events in which communities never quite recover. Is it too late to redeem ourselves and our children and create a more cohesive and connected community?
I don’t think so and here is why.
Personally, I believe that if we were to place a heavy importance on kindness, charity and compassion on our daily/weekly activities and priorities we literally could change the world. It’s like a piece of the complex (yet simple) equation of items and their rank of importance and influence all parents develop for their kids. It seems today’s importance is placed upon excelling in everything you do: top grades in every subject, several extracurricular activities to keep our kids well-rounded, social and marketable for their future with the ultimate goal being to achieve greatness in the best college followed by a dynamic career that will solidify a life with an abundance of wealth and financial security.
Clearly all of these things are important and a desire all parents have for their kids. But what if outside of the time you spend bonding as a family our children’s priorities were split between school, extracurricular activities (in moderation), and charitable endeavors? What if we started at the tender age of 2 or 3 and carried these toddlers with us as we were emulated an existence of love, charity, acceptance and kindness to others as part of our daily routine? What if you encouraged your 5 year old to come with you as you take the meal to your elderly friend, visit the food bank, make cards for the police officers or firemen each week, or had them drop off notes to their friends only to let them know they are special and loved? What if your middle school son or daughter in September had to select a philanthropy they were dedicated to each week and produce a “business plan” of sorts as to why they chose this charity or philanthropy, what they plan to do with it, how much time they will dedicate to it and what they expect to get out of it at the end of the school year?
If we as a community worked on these simple activities do you think we would see an impact?
In a time of social media and more access at a young age to impact their peers we believe 100%, yes. The ability for these philosophies of kindness, charity, tolerance and teamwork to travel across boundaries and communities these days is unprecedented. Why not use social media to its’ absolute best advantage and do something positive? Send these images and stories all across the world via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and through any and all avenues and areas that appeal to kids and teenagers these days. Allowing them to participate in these modern trends but focusing on the positive making it fun for them with an invaluable outcome; an outcome of empowered children that promote kindness, tolerance, compassion, unity and cohesiveness. These benefits are not only for our kids but can teach and better us as adults as well. Children, family, friends, co-workers, strangers, loners, and those at the end of their rope. People we understand and connect with and people we don’t so we can better relate to them on a human level instead of ignoring or judging.
This blogs’ purpose is to cross those boarders and inspire all walks of life to engage in these activities and promote a happier, more fulfilling existence. Each week we will be featuring ideas for random acts of kindness, provide resources and stories of everyday people doing amazing things. We will also feature businesses and people that provide a service, product, or cause that has impressed us with their philanthropic spirit.
We hope you will join us in our kindness crusade. You just never know what we might achieve together!