In a society of materialism and image; where striving for better homes, better cars, better labelled clothing, better body image etc, seem to matter more than moral stance, ethics, good old fashioned values, and the joy of relationships; In a world where even children struggle to keep up with their peers, and advertising gurus bombard them with expectations on possessions and image; Where children say, I am bored, as soon as they are left to their own devices for more than 5 minutes without electronic games or the latest high tech toy to occupy them; I thought I would share a little story that happened with my daughter. Its a story that got me thinking about self worth and how despite the pressures of society around us, there is still hope that we can be happy with who we are, not what we have!
Through various life experiences I have tried as a parent to show my children the value of relationships and community V's possessions (which I assure you they still have plenty of!). It can be hard for any parent to find a balance between social expectations and pressures and not spoiling or doing our kids self esteem any harm. I have always tried to be sensitive to these social factors and certainly don't brush off the reality of them in my children's lives. The reality is that this is the type of society we live in. And the reality is that its hard for kids to not be drawn into a world of materialism and self gratification to feel accepted by those around them, or even good about themselves...goodness knows its hard enough for us adults to work our way through!
Which brings me to yesterdays conversation where my 3 year old made a simple, honest from the heart statement that made me very proud of the way my kids are view the world and themselves at this point.
Whilst driving home from Kindy, Miss 3 pops out with, "Mummy, do you know what?"...I reply with a cheeky, "No I don't, who is What?". She giggles and says," No Mummy I want to tell you something! Mummy, I love Me, and Mummy, and Daddy, and my brother and my sister and Papa and Mima and Koro and.....who lives with Koro? Oh yeah Mama, and I love Grandma and.........." the list went on. She went through all the people in her life she loves, I'll be honest, it took a while. Finally when she couldn't think of anyone else I asked her, "What makes you the most happy in the whole world?"....she smiled her contagiously gorgeous smile and said confidently..."all the people that I love make me happy!". I smiled and said to her..."you know I am so glad you said that, but I am most glad that when you started telling me all the people you love, you put yourself first! I always want you to remember just how special you are, and to remember that God made you perfectly and you should always remember to love being the person God created you to be!" her reply,"God made me very special didn't he Mummy, I like me!"..."Yes darling, VERY special, and I love you too!".
Today too many of us forget the value of enjoying who we are and accepting ourselves. We look to "material things" to make us who we think we need to be, we forget that we are enough the way we are and that the things in life that cost nothing, like relationships, quiet time, walking along the beach, sitting in a park; those things can make us truly happy.
Miss 3 could have listed off a myriad of material things which make her happy; her toy room, her videos, her cubby house, her bicycle, the swimming pool, her favourite baby doll....But no, she choose the people she loves, and herself!
I am so proud to know that she is so balanced and has such a lovely view of the world at the moment, I certainly hope its not something she ever looses hold of.
Today, take some time to remember who you are....and where your true worth lies!