Awareness Activity: Using Tibetan Prayer Flags to Talk about Service, Kindness, and Happiness

Prayer flags inspired this adventure.  We worked on this adventure for 3 days, and we loved every moment of it!  Prayer flags are just cool. The idea that you can create something tangible to express a sentiment of goodwill for someone else and that the wind can “carry” that sentiment is just so nice.

I wanted to have some good conversations with my children about:

  • What makes people that don’t know us want to help us?
  • Why do we want to help others?
  • How do we think we can help?

Much of our “talk” when we discuss service revolves around making others happy.  I wanted to talk about:

  • What makes us happy?
  • How do we know what will help others be happy?

So, I started there. And we went on a journey to learn about prayer flags and the intents of our hearts.

  • I learned that my son’s godfather already holds a special place in my son’s young heart.
  • I learned that my son has been pondering situations and ideas from things we did months ago in helping someone.
  • I learned that my son only wants to listen to good music and watch good shows because that makes him “feel happy.”
  • I learned that my boys truly believe in and value the act of prayer.
  • Family, home, good food, and treats are the things that my boys said make them the happiest.

In researching prayer flags, we came across this project, and we all decided that we needed to do it.  We needed to make our own prayer flags, to create a symbol of our own good intentions for good things for others.

So, we set off to make our own.  Putting on our painting shirts, we picked out material and set to work painting the intents of our hearts in sending good thoughts and desires to others.  We worked on it a bit for several days.  I was amazed at the thought and almost reverence shown towards the task each time the boys put on their painting shirts!
Here are the flags and what each artist is hoping for the recipient.
Artist:  My 6 year old
Happy homes
Beautiful nature
Happy smiles and hearts
Artist:  My 4 year old
“family has a home”
games and toys to play with family
airplanes to visit
Artist:  Mom
surrounded by compassion
friends with empathetic listening
helping in selfless service
The boys have decided on the recipients of their prayer flags.  I am in awe at the generosity and kindness in their hearts.  An example to me!
Although this experience was unlike almost all of the other “penny of time” adventures, I can honestly say that it was a great adventure to help them talk about and process the intents and desires of their hearts related to helping others, serving others.   A great adventure to have after serving for several months!