Saturday, March 07, 2009

Giving Away the Train (and the car, and the book...)

Local homeschooling friends requested donations for their son's hospital waiting room, which is sorely lacking in activities, toys, books & magazines for long-term family guests (particularly patients' siblings). Just two days previously Logan had expressed an interest in giving some of his items away to "the homeless," which is his clearest definition of people in need. We were able to gather a very large bag of items to give to families in crisis--a wonderful object lesson that is deepening my children's understanding of the world as they know it, and their responsibility, as citizens of that world, to contribute something significant.

Yesterday's Post had a piece about that word, "Responsibility," and President Obama's possible overuse of his favorite word. Can anyone overuse the word?

I understand the point--my parents used "Grateful" very frequently, sometimes giving me a sense that they thought me ungrateful. I suppose if "Responsible" is invoked too frequently, the American people may feel that they are being labeled as irresponsible by a Parent President.

However, I really jumped to my feet on February 24th when our 45th president said these words:
...dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American.

He used variations of "responsible" 14 times in a 5,902-word speech. That's not even close to one percent, but I'd still call it frequent.

President Obama is a huge supporter of giving back to the local community, and in effect, to the nation. His wife spooned out pasta as a soup kitchen, Miriam's Kitchen, on Thursday! Sincerity & authenticity are words that come to mind. This is a family who walks their talk (although I cannot comprehend their support of abortion, but that's a whole other post...). Even Starbucks got on board this Fall with their "I'm In" campaign, when they decided to give beverages away to anyone who promised to give away just five hours of their time in the calendar year.

Are we such poor volunteers that we need a coffee incentive to give five annual hours away? Wow.

I hope that if we start them as little people, our children will be lifelong philanthropists. If our President & First Lady continue leading the way, literally getting their hands & feet firty, perhaps other little people will also get inspired.

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:37-40

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