It’s easy to teach children their lessons. 1+1=2. CAT reads cat. Science. Algebra. All these are available with guidance from books and the experts. We know that 1 + 1 will ALWAYS be equal to two. There is no ambiguity. No grey area. No room for debate.
It’s much harder to teach our children values. The value of hardwork… Teaching them the Chinese concept of thoughtfulness and respect… Humility… Kindness…. The ability to save.. and to share. These are infinitely more difficult to teach because values are relative and they are not concrete. You can read about them in a book and know what it’s about but LIVING them is a completely different matter.
Values are infinitely more important than academics. It’s what sets humans apart from the animals. The ability to better ourselves and become more than just the easy primal reaction of self-centeredness. These lessons are more difficult to impart to our children.
If only there were a guidebook on EXACTLY how to teach them. Usually, I am at a complete and utter loss at what to do.
Today, my daughter came home for lunch and she was concerned as she relayed what had happened in school. She told me one of her good friends is being rejected by the other girls in her class.
The other girls asked her “What do you see in her? Why is she your friend?”
C told me she answered calmly. “You think she is mean right? But I see kindness in her and for that she is my friend.”
Her friend adamantly disagreed and tried to convince her that the ostracized girl was mean and should be rejected. But C told me she stuck to her guns and said “I want to be friends with everyone.”
I looked at my daughter with awe.
I realized that it must have been hard not to give in to the peer pressure like that. Yet, she had the guts to do so. On top of that, despite her refusal to fall into line with the other girls, she is still well-liked by the class and she considers all sides her best friends even if they don’t get along with each other. She is showered by her friends with letters and small gifts. She is able to reach out to all sides and welcome them with kindness. She showed me a wisdom in her 8 years that some people don’t accomplish in 40.
I am humbled to have a little girl like C.
I wish I knew what Hubby S and I did… or what we didn’t do. Is kindness something innate in her or was it something we managed to nurture in her? Who knows?
All I am now is thankful with all my heart and soul.
Maybe it’s useless to worry and analyze our decisions day to day. Maybe we should just live our lives with the best intentions and leave the rest to faith.
As I stumble along the blind path of parenthood, all I can do is my best.
With the grace of God go I.