just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

We Are All Connected-What did you do today for someone else?

When I was younger, I could bring home stellar grades, show them to my father and be met with, “But honey, honey, are you a good person? What did you do today for someone else?” Baffled by his perpetual redirection, I often left those discussions deflated. I never understood why he placed so much importance on “doing for others.”Then I grew up and began to realize that we are all part of the greater fabric of humanity—a lesson that I hope to teach my own children.The clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh provided the foundation for an interesting discussing with my eleven-year-old son CJ. Yes this tragedy did not happen in the US, but it is still important, and relevant, to us.My son is entering an age where he is beginning to understand the basics of economics and why a company would choose to manufacture overseas in less than ideal factories. He is also at an age where he recognizes brands- including Gap, J.C. Penney and Walmart.

When I asked him what he thought we could do in response to the exploitation of these workers, his response was astute, “Maybe we should try and buy from companies that make clothes in the U.S. or places where the companies treat their employees better. Maybe if enough people do that, then these companies will understand that they need to treat people fairly.”

I wish the world was that simple, but he does have a point. If nothing else, my conversation with him shows me that he is building awareness to a world greater than the microcosm that he lives in. It is the recognition that all people should be treated fairly and if they aren’t, perhaps we can exert pressure with our buying decisions. I realize that, at this age, it is all about fair or unfair—a concept he can relate to because it is an ongoing issue with his sister—but it is a start.

This week, there was the horrific destruction from the Tornado in Oklahoma; the amount of need and devastation simply astounding. Without getting too specific with CJ and KC, we talked about the kids who were impacted. I have challenged both of my children to think about what they could do to help the people of Oklahoma. As I was writing this, my daughter began drafting ideas. We have a block party coming up this weekend , and she decided this would be a great time to bring people together to donate.  These are the signs that she came up with:

IMG_4324Then there was last weekend at a lacrosse tournament, where a two-year-old girl from our area ran out in front of a car and did not survive. The family had been heavily involved in the local sports association. This sports association organized a massive memorial service. People from all over the county gathered to honor the little girl’s memory at a local baseball field. At the end of the memorial they released balloons. We didn’t know the family personally, but my children learned the importance of gathering together to support a person in need. It wasn’t much, but the outpouring of support was tremendous and I believe it made a difference to her grieving family.
I want to impart on my children that we are all connected. It doesn’t take much, but if everyone reached out and did something for someone else then the world might just be a better place for more people. I’m not talking grand gestures; it could be something as easy as a random act of kindness, or listening to a friend in need.So dear reader, I challenge you to reach out and do something for someone else over this holiday weekend. Let’s work together to make the world just a little bit better.

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