International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach addressed the world on August 5th from a simple podium amid a techno-charged party scene. His role was to welcome the world, in person or via television, to the 2016 Olympics hosted in Brazil. Instead, he delivered 11 of the most shocking words that should cause every mom everywhere to double-check her parenting.
Bach casually stated, “We are living in a world where selfishness is gaining ground.” Ouch. Stings doesn’t it? It’s like we want to laugh awkwardly because we know it is just so true. But we can do something about that.
As we settle into that back to school season, I challenge you to take stock of Bach’s words. Of course, as moms we can live our lives as a daily example of kindness and putting others first when the occasion arises. But what if we took it a step further? What if we sent our kiddos out each morning with a daily challenge?
Each weekday, send your child—age doesn’t matter here—into his or her classroom with a concrete way to put others first. This can be anything you dream up, but I recommend you keep it simple and free or cheap.
Here are some ideas. These are for all ages, so tweak them to best fit your family!
- Push in your friend’s chair
- Invite someone to play who doesn’t have a buddy
- Invite the new kid to eat with you
- Ask your teacher if he/she needs help
- Write your friend a note or draw them a little picture
- Complement friend (even if you don’t really know them yet!)
- Offer to help a classmate if you finish your work early
- Pick up garbage
- Hold the door for someone
- Volunteer to pick something up when someone drops it
- Say please and/or thank you
See what I mean? It’s not complex. We raise world changers by making them care for whoever is in front of them right here, right now.
Want to change the truth that Bach spoke so subtly? Then be the pebble in the water, and watch your ripple effect the masses. Start with you and your children. And don’t forget to debrief each day! Even my teenagers love to share how they were able to make that little difference in another’s life.
Have some ideas to add to the pile? Let’s hear them! We have 180 days to put others first. Let’s live this life on purpose.