Yesterday, I wrote the first installment in this four-part series. It had occurred to me in a new way that, for all children don’t yet know, there is an equal amount that adults have forgotten. While it’s not absolutely necessary, I do recommend hopping over and catching up to speed by reading “part 1″ from yesterday, since it contains important groundwork for today’s post (as well as the next two).
2. Children know how to give simple gifts.
How many times have you struggled over what to buy for someone in your circles on their birthday or for a holiday?
Wondering if the gift will be taken as too little. Or too much.
Laboring over the fact that there is nothing they really need.
Or resorting to just grabbing a gift card or cheese wheel at the last minute.
Kids aren’t torn up about such things. Yet somehow, in the absence of high-paying jobs or cash flow, they still manage to excel at gift giving.
They put time into coloring or drawing a picture just so, considering what colors are their favorite and yours, before delivering it with a simple “I made this for you.”
They wrap their best army guy in a piece of construction paper and tape it closed, then surprise you with it.
They walk up silently when they sense you might be sad, give your leg a hug, and then skip away to play some more so you can have some quiet time.
I recall one relief trip I made to Mexico, to a particularly impoverished area where the children had far and away less than even the poorest children here in the United States. Families literally lived in houses made of cardboard boxes, tires and chicken wire. One little girl in this hot and dusty “box city” was so overjoyed and appreciative of my playing with her that, on impulse, she reached up into her tangled hair, pulled out her broken pink barrette and handed it to me with a big smile. She didn’t consider whether I needed it or could even use it; it was just an impromptu gesture of kindness and generosity, given from the heart.
Couldn’t we stand to be more like this in life – giving the little “no reason” gifts of love and joy, and not worrying so much about the expected big ones?
[Check back soon for the next post in this four-part series.]