Saturday, October 6, 2012

Life Lessons From The Philippines - Teaching Compassion & Generosity

I recently shared on MUMmedia about my husband's recent mission trip to the Philippines. Stories, photos and videos of his trip always challenge and inspire us as a family. Last year the lesson was about simplifying our lives but this year I felt it was the importance of teaching my children compassion and generosity.

I shared how a Filipino pastor and friend was given the opportunity to travel to Australia for the first time. As we welcomed him into our home I was overwhelmed when I saw my house through the eyes of someone from the developing world.I noticed things I don't usually notice. I have two fridges in my kitchen. I have a music room and office complete with two computers and three guitars. My children have a play/school room. I have photo frames and ornaments that probably cost more than a Filipino pastor earns in a month. I discussed poverty vs riches and the importance of teaching children compassion and how sometimes these experiences are the wake-up calls we need.

Our children are growing up in a culture that teaches them to be selfish and to value possessions and products before others. As parents we need to create a counter culture in our homes where we can teach our children the importance of compassion and generosity. Part two of my post was about how I've teaching my children about generosity.

The best lesson we can give our children in generosity is to be the example. Let them see us being generous and doing good to others. Showing my children photos of daddy (above) helping build a kitchen and distribute food at feeding programs hopefully plants a seed in their hearts!

“Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
Steve Maraboli

It is so important we teach our kids to be generous in a world that teaches them to see themselves as the center of the universe. We need more kids growing up with an awareness of the developing world and the understanding that they have a responsibility to help the poor not out of guilt or obligation but out of genuine love and compassion.

As parents, we have to counteract cultural messages with a home that teaches that love, compassion, kindness and generosity are more valuable than wealth and success. What better way to do this than to homeschool and to be the teachers that our children need.

Let's not underestimate the power behind what we are doing for our children as we teach and influence them. Building their character is more important than academic success as t is their character that will define true success in their lives.

In conclusion, recent events have left me feeling more passionate about homeschooling than ever! This is about so much more than teaching our children their ABC's and I am so thankful for the wake-up call!

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