Yesterday I had a conversation with my two oldest about “first world problems”. It’s my go-to-phrase to remind them that:
THINGS AREN’T AS BAD AS YOU THINK THEY ARE…
They were complaining about something they had to do on the last day of school & how they wouldn’t be able to just come home & relax. On another occasion I might have sympathized with them or just let the conversation go. Thankfully, I was more present that day & really tried to use that conversation as a good teaching moment. I reminded them that what they were complaining about was a “first world problem” & that there were more blessings in their “frustration” than hardships. So we talked about what they were taking for granted & what they could be grateful for like…
- A good education in a safe, clean environment (when so many others in the world either don’t have access to an education at all or go to school at the risk of their safety).
- The fact that they were beginning their summer vacation & would have plenty of days to relax (another luxury we often take for granted in our “first world” country).
- The activity they were “complaining” about was really going to be a great experience (even if it was on their last day of school) & why they should be looking forward to it.
We also talked about how easy it is to complain, especially when others are doing it, and how we shouldn’t be a part of the negativity. It’s my guess that one kid started to complain about wanting to “relax” when they got home from school & everyone jumped on board the “it’s not fair” train.
TWO BOOKS I RECOMMEND READING WITH YOUR (OLDER) KIDS…
I personally love to read autobiographies because they give me perspective on life through another person’s experiences. They also give me great stories to share with my kids in moments like these. 😉
Two books that came to mind (and that I highly recommend) are: Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games by Lopez Lomong & I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai. Both of these books humbled me when I thought of all that I had been taking for granted living here in the United States & I’ve used stories from both of them to teach my kids to be more grateful.
LET OUR FAITH REPLACE OUR FEARS…
In my personal study today, I came upon this quote…
I come with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms & enjoy more fully the sunlight. I’m suggesting that we accentuate the positive. I’m asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue & effort….
What I am suggesting & asking is that we turn from the negativism that so permeates our society & look for the remarkable good in the land and times in which we live, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism.
Let our faith replace our fears. – Gordon B. Hinckley
How fitting this is for our society today. As adults we need to set the example. Do we accentuate the positive? Do we look for the remarkable good in our country & the times in which we live today? Or do we seek out the storms? Do we talk about what’s wrong more than what’s right? Do we let our kids see our fears more than our faith?
Just something to think about.