Whisper in my heart
This time of year always makes me wonder how I can help instill a life of generosity in my children. When I read stories about kids that told their friends, "No birthday presents!" and instead they asked their friends to please give to the SPCA or some other fantastic non profit, I wonder how the parents helped nurture that desire to give rather than receive. I haven't been asked by my kids what I want for Christmas. Do they care? Should I be concerned that they haven't asked? I know Erik made me something in class and he is VERY excited to give it to me, but their focus is definitely on receiving. We need to show them how important it is to give and think of others. Not just in money, but in time, effort and even just kindness. When they hear or see someone that needs help, I want them to immediately start thinking about how they can get involved. I don't want them to think, "Someone else will do it." I was bullied in junior high. I remember a particularly awful day where a bunch of girls came up to me at lunch and yelled awful things and swung a crutch at me. I sat there and cried. A lot of my "friends" didn't stand up for me. In fact, several of them distanced themselves from me when it was happening. One girl, who I wasn't even close with, sat next to me as I cried. She wrapped her arm around me and gave me strength. I wish I could find her today and thank her. As I think back on that day, I choose to only remember her kindness. She was a friend to me when I really needed one. I think I've told Casey this story, but now that I've written it down, I realize I need to share it again.
I want my children to look for these kinds of moments. I want them to look out into the world and find someone that needs a friend. I want them to give words of encouragement and share a smile. I want them to wrap their arms around someone hurting and sit next to someone who is alone.
This story defines generosity. This couple didn't have to do anything, but they did and they changed a life. I hope that whisper that I hear in my heart that tells me when I need to help, only gets louder with each passing day.
"An 83-year-old guy in St. Petersburg, Florida named John Joyce makes money mowing lawns. And the 20-year-old truck he had died recently, so he was walking to all of their houses, and pushing his lawnmower along with him. Sometimes he'd have to walk several miles just to get to one house. And when one of his customers found out about it a few weeks ago, they decided to help.
Robert and Nikki Norton got married earlier this month, but found out about his truck right before the wedding. And their first idea was to use some of their wedding money to get him a new ride. But it turned out they didn't have to. Nikki posted his story online, and started a GoFundMe page for him. And in less than a month, more than 300 people donated 13 GRAND to help him out.
Then a used car dealership agreed to sell them a 2004 Nissan V8 truck at cost. And they surprised John with it on Monday. They also had enough money left over to pay for the insurance AND buy him a new lawnmower. One of John's relatives told the local news it might be the nicest thing anyone's ever done for him. And when they interviewed him right after he got the keys, he said he felt like a millionaire."
THIS is all that matters. This is love.