Monthly Archives: August 2011

On Kids and Gratitude

Her smile was contagious. My daughter was grinning from ear to ear when she came home from school today, as she was carrying a loot bag of tiny toys and candies. As she was rambling on about how fun her classmate’s birthday party at school was, she suddenly frowned. She said Peter (not his real name!) didn’t say thank you when she handed him his birthday present.

Saying “thank you” is a big thing for my daughter. Ever since I can remember, I have drilled the importance of saying “thank you”, through my kids’ skulls. I have always reminded them that letting other people know that you are grateful for whatever they have given or done for you bring you one step closer to heaven. Luckily, I’ve succeeded. And I’m one proud- and thankful- mom.

Life Lessons Teacher: The Street Beggar

To say that I am utterly amazed would be an understatement. I had lunch with a friend and her 5-year old daughter today, and I almost fell off my seat when she blurted out, “Mama, I want to get some take out food for that old lady we saw begging on the streets yesterday.”

It’s admirable how such a young girl feels empathy for people who take to the streets just to manage to put food in their mouths. While other kids her age would bug their moms about getting them the latest Barbie dollhouse, she thinks about feeding the poor. And to think that they saw that old lady the day before! The image of a poor old hag begging for food must’ve stuck to her like crazy glue- and for good measure!

We adults could learn a thing or two from this kid. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we should doggy bag every little scrap of meat from a fancy restaurant and dole them out to people on the streets. More than material things, what matters more is the immaterial. We can share our time, for instance, and volunteer to cheer kids up at a nearby hospital. Simple acts of kindness and generosity go a long way.

Life and Mozzarella

I wolfed down 4 huge slices of mozzarella-rich pizza just now. I love how mozzarella feels like sticky, gooey bubble gum in my mouth.

It’s life’s simple pleasures which help us realize that we should live in the moment. The sheer bliss of pizza between my teeth made me cherish the moment for what it was…yummy and cheesy. For one brief moment, I let go of all my worries. I stopped thinking of the mistakes I made earlier today, and abandoned all my worries about tomorrow’s things to do.

If you think about it, all we really have is the here and now. Yesterday has already passed, so there’s nothing more we can do about it. Tomorrow has yet to happen, so it’s also an exercise in futility to keep thinking about it. If we let the present moment pass, it’ll be gone forever. So we should just make the most of NOW, because that’s all we’ve got.

Maybe I should have pizza more often…