It has been said that a society is judged by how it treats it’s chiildren; I believe the greater judgement is going to be levied on the basis of how we TEACH our children to TREAT others. – Tim Terrentine
I had the fortunate occasion to spend some quality time with my chiildren at a huge indoor waterpark a few weeks ago. This was a refreshing experience for the family. (note to self: TAKE MORE VACATIONS!) While hanging out with my nearly four year-old son in the kids area, my joy was turned into mourning very quickly. I’ll explain; those who have met my son know that he loves to run, jump, wrestle, shoot, catch; be active. Just for clarification sake, he’s not the kid in need of a leash, he knows his boundaries; however, I noticed that he was just standing at the top of the water slide without taking a turn for 2-3 minutes per attempt. What was holding up my go-get-’em son? Our Future.
I sat and watched dozens of children who literally had no regard for others. Whether the child in front of them in line was a special needs child, a smaller child, an anxious child, or just ahead of them in line; the majority of the children pushed others, ran in front of them and TOOK their turn to slide. The largest offense of all…their suburbanite parental units were cheering them on with smart phone cameras ready to watch the behavior.
WOW. What are we teaching our children? Is this the future? My wife and I work very hard with little man to teach him that other people matter. Kindness matters. Patience matters. Being mindful matters. And the most important lesson of all; he matters. We try our best to tell our children that they matter and the way they live out their significance is to show others that they too, matter. I am afraid that what I saw at the water park might be what we have to look forward to in the next generation. I’m not as afraid of the kids as I am my parental colleagues who seem to be oblivious to these lessons.
Parents: please teach yourself and your children well that they do not exist in this world alone, and they do not hold the highest seat in the world. Greatness is determined by service, not by selfishness. We would do well to make certain that the generation coming forward knows that a sense of entitled arrogance never has and never will be a recipe for greatness in a person, a family, a community or a society.
Teach our children well.
Peace, Blessings, and Greater Futures.