Passing on Values to Your Kids

Earlier this week I watched the mission and was challenged to fight injustice in the world around me.  At first my thought was that there aren’t any big injustices that I can see right in Okinawa.  Then I remembered that we go to the beach by our house nearly every day and there is a homeless guy (or not so homeless since he built a little house) but still I don’t think he has any source of income. 

homeless man

In the past he has readily accepted drinks and I have seem him on collecting cans around the beach.  So I decided that I it would be no big deal to bring the coke cans that we collect in our building to him each week. 

So Tuesday I brought the cans home and told my kids I was going to be giving them to the homeless guy on the beach.  I asked the kids if they wanted to give him anything.  Adrianne and Megan both dug into their piggy banks and pulled out the bulk of their YEN to give to him.  Jack grabbed a plate of food that Jen made of our left over dinner that we had just finished. 

homeless4

We walked over to the homeless man’s house and the kids were asking what we would do if he wasn’t there.  “We’ll just leave it for him to pick up later.”  Thankfully he was there.  Jack offered him the food.  Both of the girls laid their YEN on a crate that was sitting at his feet.  I offered him the cans which he took and placed in his can pile  He was very grateful and offered lots of thanks to us.  He focused on the cans.  I think it gave him a little dignity in the midst of his situation.  It’s a lesson I learned from my Dad 18 1/2 years ago when I was 16.  My Dad was trading one of our cars for a pool table.  I remember asking why we would be doing that when the pool table would take up all of the garage and we were moving soon anyway. 

My Dad took me to the man’s house when we picked up the table.  Even though the car was probably about 10 years old or more it had been immaculately kept.  I remember the man telling us that he had never owned a car that nice.  As we left the house my Dad explained that taking the pool table in trade allowed the man to “pay” for the car instead of just giving it to him which my Dad probably would have been glad to do.  I caught the value of helping someone keep their dignity even when helping them out. 

Hopefully my kids will catch some of the value of serving others whenever possible. 

We left the beach and played at the park for a while then we stopped by one of my coworkers houses to drop some stuff off.  About 20 minutes later we were heading out to get donuts.  My kids were wondering if they could get a small toy instead of a donut that evening.  I reminded them that Christmas was only two weeks away and they would be getting gifts.  At that point they all agreed that with presents coming it would be a good day to get a donut. 

homeless

As the car got quiet Megan asked if she could get a Japanese Big Person Bible for Christmas.  “Sure, Do you want to learn Japanese?” I asked.  No she replied.  I want to give it to the guy on the beach.  Megan has always been giving, but I was especially proud that she would want one of her presents to be one that she would give away.  Hopefully she continues to catch our family values and take them as her own. 

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