As the father of two kids, I try to share some wisdom and common sense with them as often as needed. This was much more important as they were newborns and toddlers. Recently though, I have been learning a few things from them as well, especially my ten-year-old son.
My son goes to a before school care program at our elementary school. He likes to be there early to talk with some of the instructors and see his friends. A mother of a special needs boy who we know brought him on the first day of school. After a while, my son saw him and went over with some trucks to play with him. They had a good time playing together, and the mother was very thankful.
This went on for a few days and few of my sons friends starting giving him a hard time for not playing with them anymore and made fun of this special needs boy. He stood up to them and said that is not right for them to laugh at this boy like that. When I heard that, I was quite proud of him and his actions. Now my son is no saint but, he is good at helping people out.
It’s Not About You
We all need periodic reminders of how we truly get ahead in life. Recently I wanted someone to help me with something. As I thought about this, I thought, “Am I someone who deserves help?” Was I helping others who need help? I thought about this story about my son who gave freely of his time to help someone who needs it most. He truly embodies the words of Zig Ziglar, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Once we realize it is not about us and finds someone to help we start to grow.
What is L
east I Can Do?
I was listening to someone giving another person advice. They mentioned how successful people never ask what is the least I can do to be successful. They are willing to pay a price to make something happen. I enjoy watching the Mike Holmes show, Holmes on Homes. In each episode, he would find mistakes and corners cut by contractors who try to build homes cheaper and faster. These contractors looked at it through the lens of what is the least I can do. Mike and his crew come in and make improvements to exceed the building codes.
I was at a meal packing for the Meals from the Heartland’s Annual Hunger Fight a few weeks ago. As I started to work on packaging the meals into the boxes, I thought, man, it is warm and tired. I then remembered the true reason for this event. I live a pretty good life here in the United States I can help someone else out. These meals they prepare go to Hati, Africa, and the Philippines.
I guess I need to be reminded how lucky I am to have a healthy family. My son shared with me a story of a girl at his school who is struggling with cancer. This girl in elementary school is enduring chemotherapy and radiation treatments. That seems like a lot for a little kid to handle, but she keeps going. We need to understand the many gifts we have that we take for granted.
Serving Those Who Served
We have a good family friend who is serving in the military. Occasionally, we will go out to eat with him and his family. People will come up and thank him for his service if he is in uniform. He even has had a few people buy his meal at restaurants.
I took my son and wife to a football game last Saturday evening. It was hot muggy night for a game. We took our seats and began chatting with the couple in front of us. The husband had recently been in an accident and had been in physical therapy. The wife had to stay with him and help him stand and sit. My son asked me for some money to get some water, and I didn’t think anything of it. He came back about thirty-five minutes later with a water bottle and gave it to the man in front of us. The man was a veteran of the Air Force my son said, “the least I could do is get this man water for his service.” Once again my son taught me a lesson
My son has shared with me a few things about life that make me proud to have him and realize that as a parent, we can learn from them, too. Wisdom has a way of coming from all different directions. A basketball coach I had a long time ago shared with our team how, “Everyone has something to teach you, some may be teaching you an example of what not to do.” What can you learn from the people you meet every day? Perhaps there is wisdom from people you know that you don’t see.
Photo: Flickr/ Jed Sullivan