I am a full-time employee, full-time mom, part-time maid and part-time broken record player. Everybody is familiar with employee and mom job (you think you know mom job but trust me unless you are one you know nothing). The maid part is to constantly pick up after my child in spite of having household help and the record player part is constantly saying “no”. “No” you can’t watch TV, “No” you can’t pick your nose in public….and there are more embarrassing things a mom has to say. Children have always been a favorite subject for me since I was a child myself. I feel the times that I grew up are very different from the times that my child is growing up in. I often wonder if kids have too many things these days. My son has way too many things and no matter how much I try I don’t think he appreciates how many things (toys, clothes, books, shoes) he has. When I was looking for volunteering activities and came across Shlok, I obviously was very happy since it was to teach kids. Someone once said “life is all about averages” so I will not say these kids are less fortunate and we are the fortunate ones so we need to help them out. It is just that they do not have the financial resources that we do but they probably have some things that we do not have. Here’s one such incident. Today we had books and pencil box drive at the school. In addition to that some generous sponsor(s) also wanted to distribute cup cakes to the kids on the occasion of Children’s day. Obviously the kids were very excited and it was a task to distribute the cakes to such excited crowd. As we were distributing the kids started eating. There was this little girl who was not eating her cake. She put it in her bag. I asked her why she was not eating, and she said she will eat it later. I insisted that she eat the cake and her response brought tears into my eyes. She said “I will give it to mom”. I get emotional even as I write this. Here was this kid, who probably never ate a cup cake but did not want to eat it without sharing it with her mom. As a mother this immediately made me think, is my child so considerate?(not that I want him to give me cup cakes) Today’s kids are very self-centered if not selfish. In the rat race of career and taking care of my kid, I often find myself numb to any emotions. The little girl’s kindness, her thoughtfulness and even her spirit of sacrifice (I think it took a lot for the kid to not eat the cake when the whole class was eating) brought a fresh breeze of emotion into me. This is not the first time I’ve had such experience with kids from my volunteer activity. I’ve had more lessons from kids than what I taught them.
Whenever I talk of volunteer activities to my friends and when I hear the excuse of no time, this is what I feel like telling them about how I see it for myself. There are 168 hours in a week and if I cannot take out 3 hours to give back to the society then there is no point of the 168 hours. It is really dumb of me to say “giving it back to the society” because what I get out of the 3 hours is way more than what I give. Kids are wonderful, they are unconditional, they are spontaneous and they don’t know malice. Just being around them gives you that wonderful good energy. Especially these kids, they are so welcoming. My Saturdays are so worthless when I am not at the school.
P:S: even the books and the pencil boxes were donated by the group.