July 5, 2013

A Simple Lesson in Gratitude

On the weekend I read an overwhelming and challenging post on Ann Voskamp's, (author of New York Times best seller,"One Thousand Gifts") trip to Africa.  Later on that day my children had exceeded their quota of whining and the moment, "it's not fair" had escaped from my daughters lips I decided it was time to put 'fair' into perspective!

I pulled Anya aside and shared parts of this post with her.  We looked at the images of  the woman who had malformed feet, the children dressed in rags and a bucket of white ants that little Anna had carefully caught for her family meal.  I was pretty choked up at this point as I tried to show my five and a half year old daughter that life is VERY fair for her, (it was a good reminder for me too).  We compared the floor of our house to the mud floors in the images, we looked at the difference in our clothing and our food.  Anya listened intently and reflected on how happy they looked despite their circumstances, she was especially shocked about the white ants, and rightly so.

We then went on to talk about our sponsor kids in Africa and ways we can help others but also to be very thankful for what we have and to try not to complain!  I don't think it is ever too early to teach our children about gratitude, empathy and giving.  I have been challenged more than once to not only give from my excess but to give sacrificially and I wish I could say I do it effortlessly, I don't.

Our children are the next generation of leaders and doers and personally I would love to see them help to give kids like Anna food in her belly and a hope for the future. 

Ann Voskamp is also an advocate for Compassion, who we sponsor one of our children through, we also sponsor through World Vision.  Compassion have a fantastic holistic view about child development which benefit entire communities.  There are many agencies who do fabulous work with third world countries, I just wanted to share about the ones I know and love. 

I was genuinely grateful for my bowl of leftovers that night as I though about those belly's in Africa and I'm hoping my daughter was too. 

Photo: Ann Voskamp


gret said...

Nice post cous. I wholeheartedly agree. x