Doing what is called charity should simply be considered a part of living. This past week my family and I have had several great opportunities to be a part of living. I took my girls to an event that I was invited to by my acquaintance Curtis Stone. Relax my ladies that tall, nice, handsome man who can cook has a lovely girlfriend. Anyway, back to business. They were hosting an event for the African Millennium Foundation www.1amf.org. The overwhelming reality of how many children will be orphaned in Africa by Aids is astonishing. These children don’t have the good luck of being put in an orphanage or shelter they just become homeless. When we left the event my seven year old daughter who was suffering from an ear ache started to weep and said “when those kids get sick they don’t have parents or a place to live, and when I get sick I know it’s only going to be for a short time.” I explained to Reece that she didn’t need to feel guilty, but that we need to know what is happening around the world to our fellow man. I explained that if her sadness motivated her to help and participate that would be great. There are so many charities and ways to give that it can feel a bit overwhelming. I have just decided to say yes as often as I can and help out where I’m able.
The second event I attended was my warrior friend’s Kelly Meyer and Chi put in another Teaching Garden www.takepart.com/teachinggarden. There were so many highlights to the afternoon. Besides the sincere Derek Fisher showing up with some of the Lakers, the children dancing with joy out on the black top, and the relentless energy of the volunteers the thing that struck me was watching children that have NEVER gotten their hands dirty touching the soil. These kids live in such a tough neighborhood they have to go to school with tan pants always being mindful to not wear “the wrong colors”. No wonder it’s difficult to worry about eating organic when you’re living in a zone that you have to navigate. Yet, they smile, they appreciate, and in return they teach me about real life.
I have read many times about Maria Shriver’s Mom Eunice teaching her children that SERVICE needs to be a part of their lives. As a parent I have reflected on this point. I mean we teach our kids they have to brush their teeth, wash their bodies, make their beds, study, and mind their manners and so on. Why shouldn’t we also make SERVICE as just a part of living? We accept paying taxes on income why can’t we weave in SERVICE as a part of being a member of society? I also realize that I can only request this of my girls if I am willing to lead by example.
It is a beautiful thing to walk away from the school and see the boxes of lettuce and other foods that now belong to the children and teachers of that school. They are now responsible to tend to their gardens that with the right care will return the favor with a bountiful harvest.
At the end of the day I have to always ask myself what’s it all really about anyway?