If only........

I visited the lovely Aimees' blog (CageFree Family) today and was once again struck by the generosity and just general kindness of ordinary people. They've had a run of poor luck over the last couple of weeks and found themselves stuck in a hotel for a few days as the heater on their Rv has gone on strike. She was feeling a bit sorry for herself with all the holdups and everything, not to mention the pain she was in caused by trying to be supermam. So out they trudged, also feeling a little concern with regards to their bank balance.


So, they decided to do a bit of shopping at whole foods as for xmas they recieved a $400 voucher for that shop. However, on entering the shop they didn't grab a trolley and do a supermarket sweep in 5 mins flat, instead they decided to donate their gift to the charity. All of it. Despite their concern regarding their own finances, the fact that they could've easily found useful purchases for this amount and they don't have a regular income right now. not only did they donate all of their giftcard, they added to it with $100 of their own limited funds, so that 2,000 kids're going to get fed. How amazing is that? To me, this shows what we ordinary people are capable of.

Of course we can't all manage to feed 2,000 kids on a regular basis, but we CAN all do our little bit to try and make a difference. It's also the example we set for our kids. They see us behaving in a certain way, so they copy it. I doubt that very many of us are mega money millionaires - if you are, all donations gratefully recieved! Lol! - but clearly none of us are on the poverty line either, if we were, we wouldn't be online would we? Here in England i'm classed as the bottom of the ladder but there's no way that i'm poor. We have a roof over our heads- and it keeps out the rain!- we live in a beautiful place, we have food, warmth, basically everything that we need and even some of the things that we want. It always amazes me when people complain about their lot, whilst wearing the latest clothes and gold jewellery, trainers that cost upwards of £80. How can they be poor? Poor is not having enough to eat, no money for medicine for your sick kids, sleeping under corrugated sheets at night on a hard stone floor. We most certainly are NOT poor.

Those of you who've been here before know my opinion on xmas, just a quick gentle recap for any newbies amongst you i I HATE XMAS!!! - but this year the pressure was even greater than usual, like most people the belts needed to be even tighter than normal, the prices were shooting up whilst incomes were definately not. I asked the smalls what they wanted, explaining that the list couldn't be very long.(**in our house we still have one believer,Little Miss R, young Master B has got it sussed but was warned on pain of death and other nasties not to let on to his sister what he knew - a barbie coat for school was one suggestion, lol!- The deal is that mam has to send money to santa, anyone who lives far away sends their gifts to him to deliver, there's nothing for free unless you've been absolutely super duper good with bells on and even then it's only one small thing 'cos there are too many kids in the world for all the swag to be for free. It also helps explain why some kids have hundreds of pounds spent on them and some don't, a harsh lesson but one we all need to learn**)

They spent some time pondering the swag options, a lot of time hidden by the argos catalogue, Master B was in his glory here as he was'pretending' to be excited about santa, being such a wiser and older brother it gave him a sense of maturity, keeping the secret from the'little kids'. It's so old you know,being nearly 10,( double figures!Gasp!) there was also quite a bit of muttering and hushed conversations rapidly stopped as i entered the room. Finally they came to me with their lists. B knew he was going to spain with his dad so i'd had to get him a passport and new clothes etc, books, lots, a watch, two actually, a wallet and some dvds, Little miss R wanted a skateboard, a watch, a couple of cds and some makeup thing. They showed me their lists and hovered around for a while whilst i read them. "We know we can't have all of these things but we've put more so if you can't get one there's always something else" -not daft my kids let me tell you!- " but the most important thing we want isn't in the argos, it's on the telly". i gulped and did a quick mental search to see if there was anything under £50 advertised on tv.i drew a blank. I took a deep breath ans said "Well, you know kids the toys that they show on the tv..." i was going to say 'are VERY expensive' but was cut off by them saying " No mam it's not a toy, we want to do something else". I was speechless for a moment, then they proceeded to tell me all about their plans, what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it.

So now Master B is the sponsor of a bottlenose dolphin that goes by the name of Sundance, who swims in the Moray Firth(scotland) and sometimes the Solway Coast (where we are!) how lovely is that? Little Miss R is the sponsor of a collie dog named Spot, who has one blue eye and one brown eye. I was choked. The icing on the cake is the gift that they 'got' me. A monthly donation to UNICEF, to 'feed the poor children' is what they decided that i needed the most.( of course i have to pay it, they didn't get as far as that concept but that doesn't matte one bit). I'm pretty sure i've not felt prouder than this for a long time.

If a 7 and 9 year old can see past the hype and think to do something nice at xmas why can't most adults? My kids're not perfect -far from it - they wanted toys too, of course they did. I'm pretty sure that if all they recieved on xmas morning was their respective sponsorship packages there d've been tears and stropping all over the place. BUT - and this is a big but, they did stop for a moment and think beyond their own needs and wants. My kids don't know we live on the 'poverty line', pah, a load of s**t in my opinion, they did know that they weren't going to get x boxes or plasma screen tellys or anything like that as money was very tight but they still stopped to think beyond themselves. These are our kids, our future.

Sometimes when i think about the future it scares me. All the fighting, suffering, starvation, poverty, greed and all that is wrong in this 'modern' world that we live in. Every day the news brings more sadness into our homes, it's gotten so bad that we hardly flinch at the news another kid has been stabbed, a postmasters son was shot, another buisness has gone bust, another bank has gone under. We just shrug and maybe even pause for a minute but then carry on with our lives. It's the age of 'it's nothing to do with me' when people see others breaking the law and say nothing for fear of reprisals, 'i'm allright Jack' when more people lose their jobs, another buisness goes under. As long as it doesn't affect our imediate lives then we just walk on by. Not painting such a great picture here am i? ....

Thankfully, at this point, something that the lovely Leanne over at Somerset Seasons said to me springs to mind here. I'd left a comment on her blog thanking her for helping me to see the little part of the world we live in through different eyes. She said that"The world is full of colour Sarah, if you just take a look." How right she is! Instead of thinking about the bad, think about the good. If two little kids can think about others as well as themselves at xmas, then anyone can. We're ALL capable of doing something, however small. Recycling your waste, using proper shopping bags instead of carrier bags, buying fairtrade tea bags, sponsoring a child, anything. It ALL counts. Never think that it's too small to make a difference. Everything counts. We can show our kids that WE, you,me our neighbours, anyone and EVERYONE can help. it's just that first step, the one that starts the journey for you. Once you've taken that you're away,AND, let me tell you, you'll feel great. We don't have to fund another wing for the library or start wearing sackcloth and ashes - unless you really want to of course?! - to make a difference either. It doesn't matter if no one else in the world knows what you've done, you'll know and thats all that counts. Just imagine what it'd be like if we all did just one thing! then another, then another........

Comments

Eileen said…
What a wonderful post...it seems so many people whose blogs I read regularly (and yours is one)have expressed similar opinions regarding Christmas. I don't hate Christmas, I love to celebrate it with family and friends. What I don't like is the feeling I have to spend. Well I don't have to and I don't give in....I prefer to make my own gifts and love to give them. I do understand about the little ones, however...and it is hard when funds are low, and as moms we want our kids to be happy. So we do without so they can have something they have their heart's set upon. When my own were young we had some tough years but managed. As young adults, my kids are now thrilled that I donated money in their name to save tigers and polar bears and sponsor a child in a Kenyan orphanage as Christmas gifts. I'm proud that they make efforts every day to lighten their carbon footprint and conserve -my lessons have paid off. Step by step.....we can all manage that...enjoy your fair trade tea today.......I'll enjoy mine here in Canada .....mmmmm, perhaps Chocolate Carmel Chai...
sarah p said…
Great post. Your kids sure are great. I'll always remember the time my dd organised for herself a read-a-thon and added her own pocket money so she could sponsor a dolphin. Kids today seem to have an innate sense of responsibility which my generation never had.
karisma said…
Ahhhhh! Me thinks my love that YOU are doing a most marvelous job at parenting! After our much Bah Humbug thoughts at xmas (yes we know you were not the only one) the kiddies come through after all with the true meaning! I don't want to do xmas because I don't believe in the whole process but at the same time, compassion, caring and thoughts for others come through so clearly! If not from us, from our kids! Just beautiful Sarah! Mine had a small lot this year, not because we could not afford it but because I objected. I felt bad, terrible and mean, but you know what, it turns out they had the best time regardless! So I guess it shows material views are not just seen by us but by them as well. Blessings to your little ones, how wonderful that they are learning the way so young! And bless the goddess for mamas like you! Amazing! Big hugs and smoochies to you and yours!
FaerieMama said…
HippyMummy, THANK you for this post! I struggle every day with sadness about the state of things as they are. I wish more than anything that EACH being on this planet had at least ONE loving, nurturing parent from birth onwards, Can you imagine the world if that were true? Anyway, one thing you wrote really struck me.
"It ALL counts." Such a perfectly simple way of putting it. I want to put that on a bumper sticker and get a tattoo of it! lol! Sending love your way this day...
karisma said…
There is a little something for you at my place! Hugs xxxx
MOUSE said…
HELLO HIPPY MUMMY, I MUST CONFESS I HAVE NOT BEEN INTO YOUR SITE FOR SOME TIME NOW, I BELIEVE IT WAS ROUND ABOUT THE TIME YOUR CHOLD WAS WANTING TO SLEEP WITH THIER FRIEND IN YOUR HOUSE.

I TOTALY AGREED WITH YOUR THOUGHTS ON THINGS, YOUR HOUSE, YOUR RULES.
PITTY WE CAN'T STOP EM ROOTING WHEN WE ARE NOT AROUND.
AS LONG AS WE INSTALL IN TO THEM THAT THEY MUST FRONT THE CONSAQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS, WHAT MORE CAN WE DO OR SHOULD I SAY BE, OTHER THAN THE BEST ROLE MODELS IN THEIR LIVES.
IT'S A HARD JOB TO FILL WHEN YOU WERE A BAD CHILD YOURSELF DOING THINGS WE WEREN'T SPOSE TO BE DOING AT A YOUNG AGE, ANY WAY, I'M TALKING FROM A PERSONAL LEVEL MOSTLY.

I REALY JUST WANTED TO SAY THANKYOU FOR FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS, AND I WILL TRY AND FIND THE TIME TO STOP BY YOUR SITE A BIT MORE, YOU KNOW HOW IT IS , WORK 55 HRS A WEEK, SPEND AN HOUR WITH YOUR KIDS AND FALL ASLEEP, HOPING YOU HAD A MEAL TO END THE DAY.

BIG HUG TO YOU.

MOUSE. AKA. MILES SHEDDEN.
Charli said…
Wow... This is great. I got CHILLS reading this post. I am always amazed by people who can be so giving in the face of their own dire need - like your friends. And when children want to help others, it just breaks my heart. Thank you for this sunshine in my day!

And thank you for your wonderful words over at Broken Mannequin. You just about broke my heart. Thank you thank you thank you.

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