As adults it is our job to teach our children, right? We teach them rules, manners, morals, reading, math and science. But as any good parent or teacher can tell you, we can often learn much from them as well. We can learn to see the world through more innocent eyes, learn to live with joy, be reminded of the priorities in life. This week I heard two stories of children who could teach us all a lesson, and I want to share those stories here.
First is the story of Ian and Nicholas. Both boys were attending a baseball game in Arizona. Nicholas, a Brewers fan, was tossed a ball by one of the Brewers players. When he misses the ball a ballpark employee hands the ball to Ian, a Diamondback (the home team) fan. Ian is thrilled, Nicholas is devastated. As Ian runs back to his dad, elated, the employee realizes his mistake and points this out to Ian. Ian good-naturedly returns to Nicholas' row and hands him the ball. Anyone who attends major league sporting events can tell you this is a rare event. Most adults who attend would probably shrug, say "too bad", and keep the ball. This boy did returned it with a good attitude and made another little boys day.
Even within this sweet story, adults who simply cannot learn are putting their spin on it. Some say Ian did nothing special because it had to be pointed out to him that the ball was meant for someone else. Others complain that a younger boy who whined was rewarded. For myself I see the lesson that sometimes we do things impulsively, not aware of how our actions may effect someone else. But when it is pointed out to us, we should hurry to make things right, and do so with a generous heart.
The second story is a beautiful tribute to a young girl's giving heart. It is the story of Rachel, a girl who asked for gifts for her 9th birthday to be in the form of donations to a group that provides clean water to families in developing nations. She had hoped to raise $300, but was $80 short by her June 12th birthday. She planned to raise more money next year. Sadly, Rachel was critically injured in an accident near her home in the Seattle, Washington area. She was taken off life support Saturday. Since hearing of Rachel's story, more than $100,000 has been donated in her name to My Charity Water.
What a legacy this little girl left! All because of one small act of selflessness...the willingness to give up a few toys or electronics so that other children could have clean water to drink. Wow. There is just so much we can learn from these tender little hearts.