What does it mean to give back? How does one even begin to teach a child to give back? We all know how hard it is to settle a dispute between toddlers when one has taken a toy off the other and the tears begin to flow. Sadly, the injustice of life can and is felt at such tender years. Even now, as adults, we struggle with the injustice that we see around us and at times we feel lost or even paralysed by the need that surrounds us. Where to begin seems like mountain that is unscalable.
Teaching our children to give back can be challenging and in the younger years, it is one of the big lessons we try and teach through sharing and caring for others feelings. We remind them of what it felt like when they were in that position, we are constantly providing examples and helping them along the way. One of the things I’ve come to understand is that the old saying, ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’ is very true. All you have to do is observe your child for long enough (as I’m sure many of you have done) and you marvel at the way he or she walks like you or your partner. How they have that same little wiggle or even when they play dress ups or with their barbies or action figures, you hear your words coming out in the story. Why? Simply because these little eyes have been watching you, observing your every move, your words. You are their greatest influence in their young lives.
So, with that in mind and the ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’ thought, imagine now how you can teach them to give back. You teach simply by doing and sharing the experience with them through your words and your actions. You will be amazed at what you see in and through your amazing children as they learn from you in this manner.
This weekend I had the opportunity to be involved in a charity walk for and organisation called ‘Hope Global‘. Hope Global is a faith-based, non-profit organisation that operates to restore hope and justice to countries devastated by war, genocide and poverty. Their aim is to unite individuals, churches, goverments, NGOs, education, trade, healthcare and business professionals to offer practical solutions that strengthen and help develop existing indigenous organisations. The primary objective of HOPE: Global is implement poverty reduction initiatives that achieve sustainable development, and bring spiritual and social strength to every segment of society.
I loved being involved in local initiatives that help our communities and Australia but I also love being a part of something beyond our boarders and this weekend was just that, not only did we raise funds through our walk being sponsored but we made a strong statement saying, ‘We will help, we will give back’. In addition to this, I am really excited to be taking our involvement with this charity a little further. This year, my lovely daughter Anna, her beautiful baby, Sarah and my daughter-in-love, Anneke will be going to Rwanda to teach Early Childhood Teachers. They have a need and we are able to help so off we will go, books and resource in hand and willing hearts to ‘Be the change we want to see in the world today’ (Ghandi). Exciting days, for sure.
Even as a mother of grown children I was able to show them that no matter what your age, we should always be giving back. Once again, through the ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’ theory my children and my grandchildren watched as I gave back of my time, my energy, my enthusiasm, my love and my heart for a world where injustice exists. Needless to say, I enjoyed the walk, the company and I look forward to the walk next year and the forth coming trip to Rwanda with some of my family. What an opportunity and blessing.
So lovely families, let’s continue to teach our children to give back. Let’s show them how to do it through our example. Imagine a world where the thought of ‘It’s better to give than to receive’ was a truth that was understood and lived. What a world it would be. As I sign off, I’m prompted to let you know that if you are in that space where you want to engage your family in ‘Giving Back’, but you just don’t know where to start, please sing out at one of our centres or call our office. We are happy to help point you in the right direction or simply invite you to join some of the things I put my hand to…. Many hands make light work 🙂
May your week be filled with beauty, grace and over-flowing peace.