I am a firm believer in KARMA. KARMA may be defined as the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. So yes the most important value that I want to teach my kids is ‘Do Good’. Sooner or later it will come back to you. Your act of benevolence may or may not always boomerang from the same person, but it will come back to you for sure.
I believe that there are two aspects to doing good and being compassionate towards people. Firstly, I wish to teach my kids that they ought to be good to everyone they deal with in their daily life. This everyone includes EVERYONE ranging from family, friends, foes, and people who assist in making our life comfortable on an everyday. The second aspect of doing good is through charity. Trust me giving away can be a difficult virtue to acquire. Especially in today’s age of consumerism, we get attracted to so many things and buy them at the swipe of a card. We want our kids to possess the best-branded stuff, yet we do not want to be consumed by these things materialistically. Thus, as a balancing act, I feel that it is very important to teach children to learn and appreciate acts of charity.
How my child is learning the virtue of Charity
Birthday Celebrations At Destitutes’ Houses
When my elder son was about to turn 1, everyone expected me to throw a birthday bash in his honor. But I along with my husband came to an understanding to not splurge on a birthday party. Instead, we decided to go to an orphanage and sponsor one meal for all the inmates of the orphanage. My heart warmed up to how the kids at the orphanage were all excited about the cake and an unusually sumptuous dinner (we had momos and noodles made and packed for them). They also sang the birthday song for my son, which caused a huge lump in my throat. As Nik too enjoyed the attention being bestowed on him, I realized that these were the most precious and effective blessings that my child could ever get. The experience was so ingratiating that we have followed this practice even until his fourth birthday and for other kids in the household. I hope that these intermittent purposeful visits to such houses for destitute will be something that my sons will look forward to even when they grow up.
Maintaining a charity Piggy Bank
In our culture, it is quite common for elders and relatives to gift money as a token of love and blessings to kids. Every time my son gets blessings in the form of money, I ask him to put ten rupees in a piggy bank that is meant for charity. He is a little over four right now, so I hope he understands when I tell him that you should always put aside a small amount of money from your earnings for charity. (This is something I have learned from my own family -when my father used to bring home his packet of salary, the first thing my mom did was to pull out a currency note from the packet and put it aside in a piggy bank)
Participating in #DaanUtsav at his school
I came to know about #DaanUtsav when my son began school. One day a notice arrived from school asking for usable/ new items such as clothes, blankets, toys, books etc which will be processed for charity through #DaanUtsav. The instructions from the school were something that made a lot of sense. They said that, “We prefer that the child actively participate while deciding which of his possessions he is ready to part with. The idea is not just to do charity/ donate, the purpose also is that kids understand what giving away means.” I love the way they execute the #DaanUtsav movement and involve parents and children in the same. It’s been two years now that we have been packing stuff chosen by Nik for #DaanUtsav in newspaper packets. Nik understands that the cloth or book or toy that he is packing will be given by his ma’am to another child whose parents cannot get him these things. His innocence really touches my heart when he says, “Its ok mamma. I think it is ok to give away this toy for #DaanUtsav, because its Diwali next month and we are going to get new stuff for me.”