It was a bit of a toughie for us. Making the geographical move from parenting in a desperately poor developing nations…to raising kids in a sickeningly materialistic, wasteful and ‘Me Me Me’ and ‘Mine Mine Mine’ culture….
How do you bridge the gap? How do you teach your kids that there is more to changing the gross balance between ‘East and West’, between ‘North and South’ than just chucking a few quid in the sponsored Monster Charity Our School Tells Us to Help Out for one day a year…
Don’t get me wrong. Giving ANYTHING is most welcome. But it is TIME and COMMITMENT that most charities need. And it is the SMALL charities that need this – far, far more than the Biggies do.
My photo here illustrates a bridge between three generations in a chilly old warehouse in Northern England. A Grandma and a Granddaughter packing wee boxes with tiny, shiny, cheap-but-thrilling little pressies.
Yes for this particular period in time and in this particular photograph, the twosome are helping out a BIG charity but (I know) that this 68 year old and this 8 year old both also help out much smaller charities. Sixty years between them and yet a similar mindset. They have given up many, many DAYS of their time to do this kind of thing over the last few years…
Neither of them are Saints. (Like their mother, like their daughter who is writing this and who is far, far from it and who is cringing at actually writing this post for fear of sounding sanctamonious, like the kind of Do-Gooder that I truly believe that I am NOT… I am sure that both older and younger female get their own personal, psychological benefits from giving their time and energy to a charity.
Let’s face it. We don’t give unless we get something back. Even it if just a tiny crumb of a reminder of what it is to be human. To feel good about having spent a second on someone, on something else than Us.
But let’s just forget the Whys and Wherefores of giving. Let’s go beyond what everyone else does, is doing – or expects us to do. Let’s get a wee bit more creative and a spend a wee bit more time than we can actually ‘afford’.