The story of Ted Williams, the homeless man with the “golden voice,” has been all over the news this week, a veritable rags-to-riches story. He’s been made famous by the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now has a job and home of his own. It’s a great story, but as Madeline said, what’s important is that we should teach our kids that “we shouldn’t just rescue the ones who can give something back; we should still offer assistance, attention, care and hope to those who need it, even if their voices are like gravel, their violin skills non-existent.” What about the little people out there, lending a hand to people like Ted Williams everyday? I’m talking about the really little people—our kids.
For months now, I’ve noticed a trend among my daughter’s 6- and 7-year-old friends, where they’re forgoing gifts at their birthday parties and instead asking that their friends bring a can of food for the local food pantry, or donate to a charity of the birthday girl’s choice. Wow! These are 6-year-olds. No toys? I’m so impressed with these kids. I’m not sure I would have been so generous at the age of 6. Or, errr … 36.
I’m not sure I could express in words how much it pains me to spend money on the plastic junk that our kids call toys, and I am so glad that it seems that other parents feel the same. They’re teaching their kids to do some good with the money that would have otherwise been spent on more toys that they most likely just don’t need.
The kids are obviously discussing these things in their own circles. When I asked my 6-year-old daughter if she knew what a New Year’s Resolution was, and if she had any, she promptly replied:
“Yes. They’re your intentions for the year. I intend to do chores and save my money so I can give it to the poor kids who don’t have as much as I have.”
Granted, her second resolution was to bring about world peace. But, hey – maybe these kids really will change the world, one birthday party at a time.
Still, I can’t help but wonder: Should I still bring a small gift to these birthday parties? I mean, they are just kids, afterall. Or, would that defeat the whole lesson that they’re teaching us parents?