Serving Others: What Can Kids Really Do?

Serving Others Does Make a Difference

Kids are not too small to help others.

This past week we were at Target getting all our supplies ready for an upcoming service project.  I had the youngest along with me.

We lined up to pay for our supplies; the checker helping wasn’t rude but she was definitely in a BLAH mood.  We’ve all been there. I always force my kids to stop and say HI to the person helping us.  Sometimes, they are great and actually make eye contact; other times, I have to pry them away from the candy to give the employee some attention. Little Brother and I are always pretty chipper when we go to pay for our groceries.  (Well, I am either chipper or EXTREMELY annoyed because Little Brother is climbing EVERYTHING!)

Today, we were chipper. This particular day, as we readied to leave, grabbing our bags, I said:  M time to go.  Tell her thank you. The checker froze, ramped up her voice and shouted:  Your name is M!!!!!!!! Little Brother and I stopped, kind of shocked, and he nodded his little head up and down. She exclaimed:  You gave me a picture that you painted!!!!  I keep it on my wall in my room at home and I always wish I could remember what the little boy looked like that painted that picture for me!!!! She went on to say:

“It makes me so happy to look at that picture and know that what I do matters!!”

[FLASHBACK:  A year ago.  A YEAR AGO, people!  Little Brother painted a picture for the checker at Target, and we went and delivered it.  The delivery was done while we were out anyway, and this extra errand took seconds to do.  I didn’t write it up to share here.  It was just one of our many small acts of service that we do.  I, frankly, had forgotten about it.  BACK TO CURRENT DAY]

Little Brother was a bit overwhelmed by her enthusiasm.  This young lady’s affect, her posture and facial expression, had completely changed when she recognized M’s name.  She was now smiling, excited, and happy! We left Target that day glad that we had given her a picture, even if we had forgotten about it.  Little Brother had a silly, happy grin on his face. People, including parents, often underestimate the power that young kids can have in helping others.  The influence that children can have on others reminds me of a shadow. Little Brother is much shorter than I am.  I am about 6 feet tall.  However, when you look at his shadow while he is standing and I am sitting, he is much taller.  (Playing with shadows is one of his favorite things to do.)

When given the right light, when given an opportunity, children can have an amazing affect on others and bring out great qualities in themselves.  Serving others is something that kids can do.  Although physically small in stature, children can do so much for others. This experience with the checker clearly illustrates that.  Teach kids to serve.  They aren’t too small to make a difference. And, me, well, I was reminded that you never, ever know how much you can affect a person.  Let’s make an effort to make sure we affect others positively.  Teach kids to serve.  It is worth it.

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