Making the World A Better Place: Teach our Children Kindness, Good Manners and Right Conduct, and Remember to Say Thank You

Monday, October 02, 2017

Most school district's curriculum is focused on preparing the students for college and the workforce. I understand that to be competitive in this new global economy, the next generation needs to be trained and proficient in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), but what about "Good Manners and Right Conduct", or as my Mom would say, "G.M.R.C".

When my children were in Grammar School, I had such conversation with one of their teachers on teaching "Character Education" in school. I asked,

"Do you think the world will be more peaceful if we know how to be kind and grateful?"

To have the possibility of world peace, shouldn't we start being kind at our own homes, our communities, our towns?

Growing up, my parents reminded my brothers and I to be kind, not only through daily reminders but by how my parents dealt with other people - strangers and friends alike. Dad always emphasized to help ourselves so that we can help others.

In school where I studied, one of the subject matters taught was "Character Education".

People I looked up to as a kid, reminded me that "no gesture is too small. Every little thing matters, and that in sharing, you get more in return."

Raising my four kids, I tried to remind them to treat others they way they want to be treated and to encourage them they they, too, can make this world a better place. One of my favorite quotation is this quote from Mother Teresa:
" I alone cannot change the world. but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."

Last night my youngest came home excited from his meeting at the Youth Ministry. He gave a speech to 200+ members on why faith is important to him. As I asked him to present his speech to me, I saw that his eyes sparkled when he talked about being able to help other people.

There seems to be so much violence, anger and resentment, but I believe there are a lot more angels among us doing good things.

In trying to make sense of the senseless events currently dominating the news, I listed the 10 things I try to remind myself and my children:

1. Remember to say "Thank you" and "You're welcome". Sincerely express your gratitude.

2. Smile more. A simple smile can brighten someone's day.

3. Learn to truly forgive.  Holding a grudge leads to a heavy heart, a feeling filled with anger, resentment and vengeance.

4. Praise someone for the good things he/she has done. Everyone dreams of accomplishing something, making a difference. Compliment someone. Acknowledge what they've accomplished.

5. Do simple acts of kindness such as holding the door for someone, helping someone with directions,  be patient when driving, don't honk your horn unless you or someone is in danger, be polite.

6.  Volunteer. Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing, some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."

7. Teach and practice teamwork. Help with chores around the house.

8. Recycle. Make it a habit to recycle bottles, cans, cardboard boxes.

9. Care for others. Do good, be an inspiration, especially when no one is looking.

10. Read and/or watch stories that highlight kindness.  It is important now more than ever to emphasize kindness to our children. Focusing on watching or reading stories with positive message will remind children the importance of being kind, polite, cordial and doing the right thing.

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