To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich ... in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common, this is to be my symphony. — William Ellery Channing
If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way. — Buddha
IN TODAY'S SESSION... We looked at real-life examples of people choosing to share their gifts — literally their holiday gifts and birthday presents. We talked about finding balance, and explored how sharing can create a balance of wealth. We also explored ways to have more fun with less stuff by designing a party using only materials that we had in our room. Our signpost to help guide us in faithful action was "Find Balance."
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... Talk with your child about how your family makes financial choices. How do you choose charities to support and decide how much to give? What factors do you consider before making a substantial purchase? What activities do you enjoy as a family that cost no money?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... Look through the drawers and closets of everyone in the family for clothes in good condition that you do not use. Decide together who might want them: A younger friend or relative? A thrift store? A shelter for women and children? Could you sell items in a garage sale and donate the money to a good cause? You may also like to give some durable food items to a food pantry, or extra blankets and towels to a homeless shelter or an animal shelter. Talk about how everyone wins when items get more than one life — the original owner gets to share, the new owner gets to enjoy new belongings, and the environment is healthier when we recycle.
Go as a family to donate food, clothes, toys, or linens. A trip to a food pantry, a transition house for the homeless, or an animal shelter lends immediacy to the sense of sharing and provides children a clearer picture of the need that exists.
A FAMILY GAME
We played some balance games in our group today. You might want to have a family competition to see who can balance on one foot for the longest. Try standing on the left foot and standing on the right, and see which is harder for each person. For a real challenge, try standing on one foot with your eyes closed. For contrast, try standing on one foot while you focus on a particular spot in front of you. You may find it easier to stay in balance when you hold your vision steady!
The Second Harvest website can help you locate a food bank near you that accepts food donations. Also, locate a pet shelter to donate linens or pet care items.