When someone is in need, what do you do? Whether it’s a friend, a stranger, a family member, or someone who works for you, how you respond to people in need defines who you are and what your legacy will be. So, how do you respond? Well, it starts with a lesson from a four-year old.
Earlier this summer, our four-year old daughter and I went out to pick up some dinner to bring home. As we left the restaurant and came to an intersection, we both saw a homeless man off to the side asking for money.
I drove on, instantly forgetting the existence of a man in need. My life is too busy, too important, and too comfortable to worry about someone else. I moved on. Aracelli did not.
She began to cry and told me something that I will never forget. She said:
“When someone is in need, you don’t leave them behind. You help them.”
That’s what you do when someone is in need. You help them.
I recently made a terrible parenting mistake. One that I swore I would never make. I’ve seen far too many well-intentioned people make this mistake. They want to prevent a loved one or someone they lead from feeling pain, making mistakes, embarrassing themselves, or accidentally going against a social norm.
What was that terrible mistake that I made?
I told our four-year old daughter, Aracelli, not to play in the mud. Worse, I got mad at her for doing so.
That may not seem like a big deal to some of you. After all, there are important things to protect. Like our carpet, her clothes, and her lady-like behavior.
Our three-year daughter Aracelli sings, dances, shouts with abandon, like no one is watching. At a recent concert, all of those were on display.
We recently took Aracelli to her first concert. She danced like it was a private show, just for her. No embarrassment. No wondering whose watchful eyes were judging her. No fear of pointing fingers or snickering voices.
She sang at the top of her lungs, sometimes when the music wasn’t playing. She shouted in response to the artists. She felt no shame.
If you don’t indoctrinate your children, who will?
I was recently asked by an acquaintance if I was afraid I was indoctrinating our three-year old daughter, Aracelli. I responded with a question of my own, the one I ask above.
No, I am not afraid of indoctrinating our daughter. In fact, I am intentional about it.
You have to choose who will indoctrinate your kids. You…or everyone else. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
The media is going to indoctrinate your kids into thinking that girls should act like sluts (Harsh word? Maybe, but I submit Miley Cyrus as proof). That’s how much of the world is going to tell our daughter how to act. And it’s going to indoctrinate boys into finding it attractive.
So by all means, indoctrinate them to think otherwise.
That is, unless you want a pregnant 16-year old with her third STD. In that case, go right ahead and let the television and her friends indoctrinate her.
Big food corporations are going to try to indoctrinate your kids (and you) into craving foods that kill you. Even worse, they will make you think they are healthy.
Listen to this post
You’re about to get a business lesson from a toddler.
My not quite three year old daughter wants to start a business.
Not someday. Right now.
And she is smarter at business than most business owners today.
Aracelli’s attitude about getting into business is “Why wait?”
She wants to start a candle-making business right now and asked Tara and me for help. So, we’re starting another business…with a toddler.
I was in her room playing with her and (no joke) she said:
“Time to work on our business.”
In reality it was time for her nap, but she did spend a few minutes planning and talking with me.
With no prompting from me, she distilled three powerful business lessons into only a few words.
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Our daughter gets it.
She’s not even three years old yet, but she knows two things.
1. Where money comes from.
2. How to melt her daddy’s heart.
What is one thing someone said to you that will live with you forever? (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Thank you for working daddy. Thank you for making us money.
With those eleven words, the tears flowed.
Tears of thankfulness. Tears of love. Tears from being overwhelmed. Tears of knowing that she gets it.
Of all the days to say that she chose this day. Or was it chosen for her?