Today, as a result of my encouragement and prodding over the last 3 weeks or so, my 4 year old went thru his entire and considerable inventory of toys, and culled those he no longer wanted or played with so that he could donate or gift them to someone less fortunate this Christmas. I know he's trying to please me of course, but I also believe he understands what I'm telling him about other kids not having toys or christmas presents. I'm trying to instill compassion and generosity in this young man, especially at this time of the year when so many will go without the luxuries that many of us selfishly and needlessly enjoy. I hope we can repeat the ritual each year. I am so very proud of him.
I read a local article about an old friend of mine who is throwing a fundraiser. His message was that he, and we, are not doing enough for the less fortunate. I have many mixed feelings about the complex problems of poverty but I do know this...someone is always "strong" where another is "weak" and I agree with his message. I don't have money to spare this year to give to charity, even if I knew what charity I'd like to give to. However, like I related, my son had an abundance of toys we didn't need, and he's being "strong" where some other child is surely weak. If someone is broken down on the side of the road, and you're driving by, you're "strong" and they are "weak"...at least for that moment. We may be short of money or time, but acts of kindness are usually free and we should show more kindness to our fellow man.
My son's mother's co-worker (does that make sense? lol) mentioned that she had a friend with a child and that they have fallen on bad times, moving from shelter to shelter and she was distressed that she had no money to give her child anything for Christmas. I don't care if she's in a shelter because she's a crackhead - there is an innocent child that will not experience the joy that my son experiences not only during Christmas, but judging by his toy inventory, experiences year round. It looks like thanks to my son, this young child will have at least some joy this Christmas...and hopefully, my son will learn that being a man includes being kind.
I think the purity of my son's actions (of all kids really - think about it, they know no prejudice, hatred, etc.) have gotten to me, and I'm hoping it will pass just as soon as one of you rude motherfuckers cuts me off in traffic and gives me the finger or, won't give me decent customer service, or post some dumb shit in one of these forums..well you get the point - I'll get back to normal with the help of a few assholes. So if any of you think I'm going soft, I assure you this will pass. In the meantime, maybe a few of us will be inspired to be kinder to our fellow man.