Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Share it: A lesson in generosity from a tiny teacher

Every parent has the bag of too-small clothes that they tuck away, meaning to pass them along.

My 3-year-old daughter found ours the other day. This time, instead of asking about wearing the "tink top" inside, she picked the bag up and said, "Let's give this to kids who need clothes."

I smiled, gave her a big hug and said, "Of course."

And the bag stayed there. After all, I had more things to pull together. And other thigns to do.

Last night, after receiving another bag of clothes she could grow into, I pulled out the bags and boxes into the living room and started sorting. I figured we could start with her current size, of which I knew we had too many shirts.

I piled the clothes into a stack, sorted by size, and called her over.

"Do you want to keep this or share it?" I asked, holding up the pink skirt.

"Keep it."

"What about this?" holding up a turtleneck.

"Share it."

"And this?" holding up another shirt.

"Share it."

"What about this pretty sweater?"

"Share it."

I asked one by one, holding each shirt, pants or skirt up. Each time, my daughter answered the same: "Share it."

"Are you sure?" I finally asked.

"Yes," she said, then, with a sweeping arm gesture towards the rest, she said, "Share all of that too."

In the end, her "keep" pile was two shirts, which I suspect I egged her into taking, and that one pink skirt. By my side, shoulder deep, was the pile to "share."

What if we all took a moment to share a little more? On the surface we may not have a lot. We may be struggling in our home life, or our work life, or have other burdens to bear. But what if we realized that the tiniest of actions, or the smallest amount of giving, makes a difference?


Cathy said...

That's really wonderful. Sharing is a really difficult concept to teach children.

Corie said...

What a wise and generous little girl you're raising! I'm so proud of her, and I'm sure you are too! :o)