I'm reading a book called 'The Price of Privilege' by Madeline Levine, Ph.D. and it's pretty compelling. The book speaks to how parental pressure and material advantage are creating a generation of disconnected and unhappy kids. Funny (or not so funny in reality), isn't it, that as we strive to give our kids more and more, we inadvertently may be leaving them empty. I believe the premise populated in this book and want to share a simple antidote to it: SERVE. Try as I might, my words will always fall short in conveying to my three children ages 4, 6, and 8 how blessed we are to live in the country we live in and to have the conveniences we have. In my humble opinion, the only way to effectively create gratitude and appreciation for the things we have is to spend time engaging with people who are living with less. The surprising thing that I discover time and time again is that material possessions are rarely a good indicator of happiness and contentment in life.
This summer I'm going to test my hypthosis and as a family we are going to spend every other Tuesday from 2-5pm at a place called Kids Cafe in Cincinnati. I got hooked up with this volunteer opportunity through The Volunteer Family an with one phone call put our plan in place. Our role: to play with kids for a few hours every other week. We plan to bring books to read, games to play and other activities that we would be oterhwise be doing at home. The goal: to serve and in the process develop a greater appreciation of what we have. I believe that as we 'spend' ourselves on others, our joy and sense of purpose and well being abound. Will this create an altered mindset in my children and myself that trades in whining and complaining for thankfulness and contentedness? I'm banking on it. But don't take my word for it...find on opportunity and find out for yourself!