Yesterday afternoon I attended our school's weekly assembly. I was so moved by the tremendous job they are doing teaching generosity and selflessness to the students. In addition to embracing our Guatemala/clean water campaign, a new tradition was established this year to observe the 100th day of school. Instead of the usual dash to purchase 100 pieces of candy/gum or cheap plastic things (I am still haunted by remnants of R's 100 plastic soldiers and P's 100 bouncy balls from Kindergarten), this year the focus was on each class bringing 100 items to donate to others. At the assembly, each class stood on the stage and revealed their collections--100 rolls of toilet paper for the homeless shelter, 100 cans of food for the hungry, 100 thank you notes, 100 pencils for a school whose students could use them.
The children were so proud of their projects. It was clear that they were empowered by the real life reminder that they are not too young to make a difference in the lives of people around them. I Timothy 4:12 came running through my mind as I surveyed their impact was this:
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers..."
Those sweet children, unknowingly, did just that. It was so moving to see 4-10 year olds being taught to think of their neighbors, not just themselves. I can't help but believe their adult lives will be better for these principles being instilled early. It is human nature to think of ourselves and our needs first--equipping our children with eyes to see the needs in the world around them is a worthwhile endeavor. Let's not forget in all the practical lessons--manners, behavior, memorization, safety to also focus on those little hearts.
And let us also not forget that we are never too old to learn either. When I can take my focus off of teaching and try to put myself in their shoes, I realize that these innocent little hearts teach me a lot.