I don’t want to live a life of me-ism and I don’t want that for my kids. I was taught from the time I was old enough to learn by seeing my mother’s actions, by hearing her words, that you do something to help others, no matter how bad things are for you.
That life isn’t worth anything if you live it only for yourself. Working 40+ hours a week to buy a nicer car, bigger house, thinking that this will bring you fulfillment and make you happy, then when it doesn’t thinking that just one more thing will be what it takes.
One more thing.
My Mama, in her wisdom, always says “You should always be doing something to help someone less fortunate than yourself.”
There are all sorts of things you can do. I regularly do things to benefit a local food bank, I help raise donations when disaster strikes different areas in the US, I vote on issues that are important to me, I smile at people and take time to look them in the eye when I see others treating them as if they are invisible.
And I explain what I’m doing and why to my children. I teach them that it is there responsibility, as people who have been blessed, to take those blessings and use them to bless others.
But that isn’t enough. In a society and a culture that is all about Me-ism, I have to do more to vaccinate my children and myself against it.
Our world is all about me. Many relationships fall apart because people don’t want to love one another more than themselves. Mamas and Daddys leave because parenting demands too much of them. We feel empty inside so we buy a new car , get a new career, quit our job entirely, leave our spouse, anything to fill the void.
But nothing helps, so we save for a bigger car, take a vacation that will give us more glamorous pictures to share, filling a bucket with whatever water we can find without taking notice that there is no bottom to it.
Me-ism never satisfies.
When you live a life of looking out only for yourself, you walk the loneliest of roads and every effort to fill the void rings hollow.
Some of the least me-ist people I’ve ever known were in the poorest of countries. Places where life was naturally hard and parents woke up before dawn to work all day in hopes of providing one meal for their children.
These are not people who don’t want to worker refuse to try to better themselves, these are people who put in 15 hour days doing whatever labor is asked of them for a few dollars – and are happy to get it. There is a different mindset once you get away from the me-ist society.
Today I met Lydia. She is a grandmother raising five grandchildren. She smiles and says “I raised my first crop, and now I am raising my second.” as her grandchildren take turns hugging and kissing her. “They don’t call me Grandma, they call me Mama” she says. With one set of parents working out of the country and another mother unable to provide for her kids, Grandma took them in without question. We ask, “How many of your grandchildren are in the Compassion Program?”
“All of them” she says.
Little Ivan rushes into their shack house and comes out with a letter.
It is from his sponsor, an 18 year old boy in Korea who is still in high school. He stands a little taller as he hands it to me to read and after the first few sentences I can see why.
“As you are a year older now, I hope you would aim or a greater dream in your life and go for it. Although your life may seem plain right now, it will certainly blossom into lots of fruits. If you make a steady effort to achieve your dreams. Children are gifts from God and you are the best of all gifts. You are such a precious person who brings laughter and joy into my life….”
These letters….these make all the difference in the world. It is not just about the education, nutrition, spiritual nurturing it’s also about the personal connection. It’s about a child in poverty such as most of us will never know in our lifetime, knowing that someone else cares enough about them, that they are so very special that a stranger on the other side of the world wants to take the time to encourage and love them.
By saying ‘Your life is more valuable to me than a weekly latte at Starbucks”
It is about separating ourselves from Me-ism about living for something more.
To some people, the thought of changing the world is overwhelming.
I’ve seen it done for $38 a month.
Changing the world is easy – Sponsor a Child.
I’m traveling with some amazing bloggers and They’re all writing daily posts as well. Visit them by clicking the links below to go to their blogs or by visiting http://www.compassionbloggers.com/nicaragua
Edie at Life In Grace
Traci at Beneath My Heart
Kelly at Faithful Provisions