Altruism and Teaching Empathy-Exceptional Lessons at School

Michael never ceases to amaze me with how he listens when he wants to, and how interested he is in the world around him. Well, that I actually knew already. Truthfully, he’s a bit of snoop, really. He eaves strops on conversations around him, looks at what people are doingm and talks about different scenarios. He’s, ahem, a chip off the old block, that block being me. The only thing is in my case, I didn’t announce or make it obvious that I was eave stropping as a child and now as an adult. What can I say? As a writer, it’s where I used to get and still get all my good ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, back to Michael. He is so interested in all that is around him, and this gives me great encouragement and hope about when he will make his way in the world one day as an adult. The other day at snack time, he told me all about some workers from a humanitarian organization that had come to his school to talk to his class about kids in Nigeria who don’t have what kids have in North America. He spoke very solemnly about these kids having to hike for water, food, and not having a lot of money for school supplies. He also spoke of sharing desks as classrooms were small.

“It must be hard for those kids Mommy. I’m lucky I have all those things.”

“Yes, it isย  honey. And you are lucky. That is why we try to help other people who don’t have as much as us.”

“Yes, I brought toys to church and my old preschool. I brought canned goods to the food basket and socks for the men on the street.”

I got tears in my eyes hearing him recount all the ways he has helped, even with all his challenging behaviors over the last few months, he is understanding, aware of others, and knows about reaching out. I am doing something right. Michael is raising me to be more aware of these things too, for as I teach him, I relearn myself the importance of charity, of gratitude, of struggle.

I plan on writing a note to his teacher to thank her for having these people come in. It’s important that though our kids and their families struggle, financial and otherwise, they need to know they are not alone, and have a lot they could offer to others. We all need to remember this.

Exceptional families, how often have you focused so much on your troubles and stresses in your life with your child and yourselves? How often have you forgotten your blessings? Michael and all our kids, if given the chance, can show us how much we all have to give others, ourselves, and the world. All we need to do is open up the door to gratitude, open our eyes to the world around us, and listen. Thank you Michael, for another exceptional lesson to this Mom and the world around you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Until next time.

 

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