Although none of us who have compassion or empathy for our fellow-man would want or wish hardship on anyone else, sometimes it can teach us more about our own value or character than anything else in life will. It is very easy to live in a circle or group of people competing with the Joneses and lose sight of our own core values. In some cases, to even form any core values to begin with, does not always occur.
Hardships can teach us to either be grateful for what we have or turn us bitter towards what we lose. People with a positive outlook on life, tend to always be able to see others who have it much worse than they do, where as, a person that feels entitled to live a difficult free life, never seems to think that anyone has it worse than they do, even when their life is much easier than most.
To put a child to work in a soup kitchen, animal rescue, or homeless shelter often times will teach them to understand that without Mom’s and Dad’s help they would be in the same circumstances. Many people are just a paycheck away from being homeless themselves. Often times people do not understand that some of the homeless are working but it still is not paying for the expenses it takes to pay for a home or to come up with the deposits that are required to set up utilities or to leave a deposit to rent. The cost of living is escalating, especially in food, over the last few years in many areas.
Often times they were working at High management jobs or were super-intendants, so the fact that some dress well is simply a carry over from the days that they did have a home and could maintain a wardrobe. People that are not willing to give of their own time and effort are many times eager to judge others. It is when we actually expose our children to the homeless, we do become more understanding ourselves of the circumstances that ended them up in the position that they are now in.
If our child’s only concern is which night club they are going to get in to, or what they are going to wear or buy, or if they can go to the spa then we as parents need to expose them to reality of life and living and the sooner the better.
Just as we would not leave our pets exposed to the elements and helpless we should have the common sense to understand, we do just that, every time we fail to ask anything of our child or children when it comes to them being responsible to themselves. We, in truth, are leaving them both helpless and indifferent towards their own survival as well as to the elements that surround them, when we teach them nothing other than material values.
A helpless or judgemental teenager is not what any rational parents should be striving for, regardless of their economical level in society. Sometimes if we the parents do not take the time to teach compassion or empathy in our child through our own actions or words, then nature or reality will force them into training through hardship.
It is our job to prepare our children for the reality that sometimes life does “suck” and to make them ready to deal with it when it does. Many times, bad things do happen to good people, and our own ability to survive will be based on the core of our own character as well as our own ability to appreciate and understand those whose own circumstances are different from our own.
If you, yourself, have not yet learned that lesson, then I would urge you too, to volunteer at the same or a burn center, or a child’s hospital, or any rescue centers where people deal with and live in trauma everyday of their lives. It will be amazing to you as to just how shallow the drama in your own life has become. It is true some times ,when we fail to appreciate, that we do lose everything that does matter to us. Have a good weekend everybody, knowing that you haven’t tried everything yet. Sometimes nothing teaches us better than reality.