Watching Universal Laws Unfold and Teaching Our Children
Teach your children
If children live with tolerance
Every day of our lives there is a little piece of amazing that unfolds before us. I’m not saying this negates our occasional struggle to accept life’s seeming injustices. Sometimes circumstances more closely follow what Hermann Hesse once wrote, “justice will always prevail, but we may not get to see it in this lifetime”. Yet there are times when universal laws are so obvious, they create a sense of awe.
When my daughter was almost three, an opportunity arose to teach her to trust those universal laws. She was in a phase of enjoying gum as one of life’s absolute pleasures. She had only one stick left and a new friend of hers asked to have it. Her reaction was an abrupt refusal, it being her last and all.
Any parent might step in to insist she give it away to learn the virtue of sharing. Typical me went into a long explanation of why. I do that a lot. I suppose it's because someone once told me something that was way over my head at the time. Two years later, when I needed to hear that wisdom, it was as though they were standing beside me and their words saved my life.
So, here I was essentially sermonizing logically to my 2 year old about, well - illogical faith. “If you give it away, you’ll get it back tenfold Honey. It even says that in the Bible. It’s a Universal Law – believe me. God will see you’ve given your last piece away – something you love dearly – and you’ve given it away freely. Because you have to give it as if you’ll never get another one. You have to give it expecting nothing at all back. But deep down, know it will come back tenfold.”
If children live with kindness and consideration
If children live with sharing,
My daughter’s expressions easily revealed her turmoil. You could almost hear her questioning mind churning to comprehend. The defiant eyebrow lift, “Never see more gum? NO WAY!” The inquisitive frown, “Not expect any back, but know it will come back? How does that work?”
“But”, she started to retort. I cut her off, knowing what she was going to say. She wanted to point out the obvious to me. Her little friend had promptly taken off to pursue something else as soon as she’d said no – and she wanted to join him!
For some unknown reason, I saw a huge lesson at stake here and I persisted. “What if you asked and it was his last piece? Now you want to go play and he may have something really cool to play with. You’ll ask him to share and of course, he’ll say no because you won’t share with him. How will that make you feel?”
I know, I know, you’re thinking, “For God’s sake woman! She wasn’t even 3 years old and it was JUST a piece of gum! What kind of mother were you?” Those same doubts run through my mind too. Like when I read how many prefer short impersonal hubs and I continue to write as if I can somehow help change peoples’ lives if they want or need to – that requires more than a quick fix… I believe you have to care for strangers as much as you care for your children in life – especially when writing.
Deepak Chopra teaches the children of the world
Deepak Chopra said he raised his children to believe that the most important thing was to find what they loved and share it with the world. If they did that, they’d never have to worry about money or be stuck in a job they didn’t like (paraphrasing Deepak – please forgive). Two of the laws he writes about in his book the “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” show us this: “2 – The Law of Giving: The universe operates through dynamic exchange… giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives. 3 – The Law of “Karma” or Cause and Effect: Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind… what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.”
Stephen Covey - shares his personal insights
And his son learned
Stephen Covey must have raised his son with the ultimate value of trust and the imperativeness of complete integrity to have it as well. In “First Things First” he relates a story to show us how trust grows out of trustworthiness: “Stephen: At one time, my little boy saw me speaking harshly about someone. He instantly came up to me and said, “Do you love me, Dad?” He was so authentic, so tender, so vulnerable. He could see in my nature the possibility of not loving someone, and he immediately applied it in our relationship. He was questioning my trustworthiness. He wanted to know if it was safe for him to trust my love.”
Sometimes we learn things and look around painfully as others struggle with the consequences of their contradictions. Compassion compels us to reach into our souls and create new ways to share age old messages. We cannot give up hope that a new way will be understood to save preventable pain. This is clearly evident by his son writing the book the “Speed of Trust”. There are messages and concepts Stephen himself has been writing about for decades.
If children live with recognition,
If children live with encouragement,
Persistence and patience always pay off. My daughter did agree to give her last piece of gum away. I wasn’t sure if she agreed simply to get on with playing or shut mom up - it didn’t matter. What happened next, as soon as she relinquished her last treasured piece of gum, created that sense of awe I first spoke of – or was it shock?
She told me a few years later that she imagined the reason she gave it away was purely logical. She reasoned that since mom was the one who bought gum, she’d get more – simple. She claims not to have learned any huge valuable lesson either – despite what unfolded. She said she figured at the time, I must have arranged the whole thing. I watch with a slightly different perspective though, knowing full well I hadn’t arranged anything. I also see that ingrained in her are some beliefs that, for better or worse, she lives by.
That is the ultimate truth, whether we like it or not. Children will do as we did, say as we said, and learn from what we show them even without words. Babies learn everything about life from their feelings – not from what they see or hear. 65% of all communication is subjective – even as adults. Amazing how we go on blindly thinking we’re fooling folks, or our kids. They ask what’s wrong and we say “nothing” – as if they couldn’t feel something was wrong to begin with, which is why they asked. Alas, I digress.
If children live with fairness,
We had been traveling around at the time of the gum incident, staying at a KOA in our motor-home. Those were some good ole days - looking for sunshine, Jacuzzis and playgrounds… The conversation (or sermon) was out in the open on a picnic table but I was so involved in wanting her to “get it”, I hadn’t noticed at all if anyone else was listening. To this day I wonder if that was actually the case. Because out of the complete blue, this gentleman came up to us and offered my daughter an ENTIRE pack of gum! I’m sure you guessed - ten pieces of gum. Even if he had been close, listening, – pretty much everyone was old in the KOAs and rarely felt gum was still an absolute joy or had any themselves. Where did he come from?
If children live with acceptance,
I’ve never forgotten that incident. Maybe it unfolded so quickly as a lesson for me too. As we age, life can throw us some huge curve balls that allow doubt to seep in and diffuse our power. The lessons we teach our children stay in memory and return to show us. For example, about a year ago my daughter became engaged and wanted to have an enormous wedding (the very expensive kind). As the parent of the bride, of course I was expected to come up with the money. I stressfully reacted thinking, “did I not teach her anything? How could anyone be willing to throw away $30K on a day’s celebration? That’s the down-payment for a house!” With life’s curve balls, I wasn’t in a position to have an “extra” $30 grand. After wiggling out of and finally being free of the expectation, I remembered the trust and faith I’d taught her.
She wanted the celebration of a lifetime and believed she could have it – simple.
If children live with security,
I worked my touchy off to try to come up with that much extra – to no avail. I kept thinking it would be a huge waste but wanted to overcome my guilt and knowing how much she wanted this, hoped to surprise her. I finally told her I’d give it as a graduation gift – with no strings attached. If she chose to spend it all on the wedding, (in one day!) that was her prerogative. Yet no matter how much I worked, earning that much extra was simply not happening. Therefore, I had little choice but to crank up my trust and faith – as if I was the child. Who knew, maybe I’d win it with a lottery ticket or something.
Well, yesterday she and her fiancé had the exact amount I’d wanted them to have, dropped in their bank accounts! Once again, the universe just produced ten more pieces of gum completely out of the blue! And once again, I am in awe...
Sometimes ours is not to doubtfully question - it is to have trust and faith that our needs will always be met. In addition, who knows, if we take the time to teach our children those positive universal laws, we may just get lucky enough to see them unfold in THIS lifetime!