Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Can Actions Really Speak Louder Than Words?

I am trying to teach the art of kindness to my granddaughter. Sure, we do the giving trees at church, the mall, Toys for Tots but still these random acts seem removed from the words "it is better to give than to receive". 

A group of high school students tried putting this to the test by creating the Random Acts of Kindness Club. One of their first acts was to take leaf rakes and ask neighbors if they would like their yards raked  - FOR FREE! After they had a few doors shut in their faces, they went to the local mall and handed out cards with "Have a Nice Day" & "You are awesome", which promptly brought out security and a quick boot to the curb.

So how do we teach our children that the joy of giving far surpasses that of receiving? Make it personal. Start with a senior in your neighborhood. We have a wonderful 93 year old woman who lives directly behind my granddaughter. We are bringing her gingerbread cookies that we carefully cut and decorated. My granddaughter and I are going to spend the 12 days of Christmas doing one nice thing each day for somebody else. My granddaughter already told me she is going to let the new girl have the swing first at recess. 

Small things. Big rewards. Hopefully a life lesson. That's what a wise grandma would do.

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