I love this quote because it puts storms in their proper perspective. Storms come and go. They don’t have to define our lives. We can’t control a storm, however, it is our response to those storms that speak volumes about our character and our lives. One of my favorite proverbs says, if you fall to pieces in a crisis, there probably wasn’t much to you in the first place. Ouch, but probably true right?
I was reminded of this while catching up on the news this evening, thinking about how to pitch in and play our part with the current Hurricane Harvey relief (quick plug- the easiest way I’ve found is to go to google and they’re matching dollar for dollar your donation). I was also reminded of this as I thought about a conversation I had with the girls recently. We were talking about giving to those in need and Riley (my oldest at 7 years old) commented something to the effect of, I’m glad that we have something to share. Lightbulb moment…that’s why right now I’m sitting at my computer formulating tomorrow night’s dinner conversation with the girls. How can we get involved with what we have to share? It’ll likely look something like this:
- UNDERSTAND: First, what’s happening in Houston?
- EMPATHIZE: How would we feel if we were one of those families?
- BRAINSTORM: What is something we can do to help and why is it important for us to help?
- TAKE ACTION: Now, let’s take action as a family.
Also, just a side note her reflection also kind of sobers me up. That right there is responsibility, and I think she gets it. She realizes at least to some degree that to whom much is given, much is required. I hear people talk about freedom, freedom to make their own choices, freedom to live their life on their terms, but freedom is a double sided coin that comes with responsibility. There’s a quote by Marian Wright Edelman that says, service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time. I believe we’re here for a purpose, and if you’re living, you better be about the business of discovering that purpose, i.e. your service to the world. I want my girls to get that on a deep level, starting now. They’re currently growing up with way more privilege that Samantha and I ever had, and we’re acutely conscious of that. It’s a blessing and a responsibility (but never a burden).
So, yeah I kind of live for these kinds of opportunities to help my kids see the service that they owe to the world. Right now is a huge teaching moment for us and our kids. How we respond to social issues (or lack of response) models our values and paves the way for theirs to develop. How we respond in moments of crisis for others with empathy, models volunteerism and service. These are opportunities to shape their character and mold them into the leaders the world needs them to become.