Posted by: katlea611 | March 3, 2014

Life Lessons

The Philippines is not exactly a wealthy country.  Poverty is everywhere and it’s pretty hard to turn a blind eye if it’s right smack in front of your face on a daily basis.

My family is not rich in material things.  We try to live within our means and to make the most of everyday.  We live on a single income but we are well-provided.  We have a big enough home (even if we don’t own it), a vehicle (even if my father-in-law purchased it when he retired), and when we do the groceries, we could sometimes get some other special items that are not included in the grocery list.  Yes, we are luckier than other families, I suppose, and I want my boys to realize that often.  I don’t want them to focus on “oh, why does this kid have that and I don’t” attitude, but rather on a “hey, those kids on the streets don’t have anything, maybe we should give them something” reaction.

I am glad that my boys are understanding and know that we can’t buy them anything they want.  I am happy that they don’t have tantrums in toy stores just because they saw an interesting toy.  I have never experienced that with my boys and I am so glad.  Yes, they sometimes want something expensive from the toy store but I simply tell them, “we can’t afford that” or “if you really want it, we’ll have to save for it”.  And they understand.  I want them to know that expensive things don’t get handed to them as they please. We need to work together as a family to get the things that they want, especially if they are expensive. I don’t want them to grow up attached to material things.  I want them to find more importance in family time, in reading, in discovering new things, in going on adventures.  So every once in a while, (especially when I spring clean), we check our cabinets, our wardrobes, their toy baskets and the attic for things we could give away to less fortunate kids or families.

A friend of mine from the province lost almost everything she had in a fire and I just HAD to give her something.  So I sent her a box full of clothes and toys and other things she and her 3 kids might need.  I know it wasn’t much but I rallied other friends to help her.  And she’s doing pretty okay now. My brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s home is a very rural place where malls or computer shops or cinemas don’t exist.  So when I found out that they were visiting the place this past weekend, we just HAD to give the kids something.  So we again, sorted toys and clothes and school supplies and snacks and gave them all away.  I hope that the kids there would put all those to good use.

Why care?  Because I think my boys will be more thoughtful about the world they live in, be aware that living comfortably in a safe home is something not everyone experiences in the Philippines and that giving away an old toy is happiness to another child. I hope that when my boys are older, they would always be grateful for the things they have and the things we could afford to give them.  I hope that when they are older they will learn to not hold on too much to material things.  And I hope with all my heart that they will appreciate the lessons I taught them in being thoughtful, unselfish and unworldly boysImage.

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