Compassion and service a major element of authenticity
Often in this world we are taught to be independent and to take care of ourselves, especially in N. America where I live. From the day we are born, we are taught everyday simple things like walking, talking, putting on your own clothes, shoes, feeding yourself, go to school, etc.. As a parent, I’ve often faced situations where my children are frustrated because they are trying to do something they don’t know how to do yet. Often, I encourage them to keep trying but sometimes the frustration is overwhelming for them and I decide to go in and help them. In some cases, it goes as far as me doing it for them, for example, all my children can feed themselves but sometimes the last few bites, they get whiny but if I feed the last few bites to them, they are perfectly content. If we don’t, it becomes this big battle of the wills about eating. All they needed at that time was just to be baby’d a little more. My children are young so this is completely acceptable behaviour as they transition to becoming more independent.
I know there are people that will say I’m spoiling my kids by doing something for them or I’m prolonging them from achieving independence but I see it very differently. First and foremost, I always encourage them to do it on their own first and teaching them ‘survival’ skills in this world are essential but if they show signs that they would like mommy to help just because they want to be baby’d just a little more or if I’m rushed, I often will choose helping them over battling of the wills. Reason is because number one it goes with the flow of least resistance and number two, I am role modelling to them compassion and service and I will never regret that. I see it in my children when they are playing with their toys, and when they do something so tender, gentle and caring to their siblings, I know the compassion and service is coming through.
As someone that is learning every day about being authentic, I’ve learned that a huge part of authenticity is about compassion and service. As I learn to be more compassionate and be of service to others, I also want to role model that to my children as they are the future of our world. We need more compassion and service in this world. We need more ‘we’ and less ‘me’, it is a gentle balance of giving without giving too much.
As my kids grow up, I will continue to role model to them compassion and service. There is no shortage of ways to role model this in our world and it will be fun to create new ways to do this together.
Are there moments that you have been a role model of compassion and service to your children? If so, how has that impacted them. If not, what are some age appropriate ways for you to do that with your children? I believe as you continue to be more authentic, just the fact that you are living that way is a great role model to your own children. Please feel free to share in the comment section below, I would love to hear your stories about role modelling compassion and service.
Keep loving and learning and making a difference, however big or small!