Friday, October 28, 2011

Old friends, old values

I received an email recently that warmed the cockles of my heart, whatever that means.  I just looked up the definition and it is described as "the core of one's being."  That's pretty heavy stuff, but so was this email from an old high school friend named Connie.

Connie sent me some pictures of her granddaughter getting her hair cut to donate it to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.  I can only imagine the joy and self-esteem these real hair pieces bring to these youngsters.

When serving as a member of a state Make A Wish board, I witnessed so many bald children, mostly from chemo, who wore hats to cover, not only their heads, but also to hide their shame.  I know a hairpiece would have made a tremendous difference to these children.  They suffered a lot more than loss of hair, including the loss of life, but their baldness acted as a searing scar that caused attention to their awful plight.  Hairpieces would have meant so much. 

I thought what a great thing to see Connie's daughter instilling these types of values in her girl.  Seeing an eight-year-old giving of herself instead of asking for more, caught my attention.   But should it?  Why did I jump to a conclusion this act was abnormal?  Why did I feel today's children aren't caring and giving? Why would I think this new generation would be less so than the previous?  The quick and obvious answer is media.

My daughters have made sure their kids know about the correct values in life.  My wife and I taught our girls the concepts of caring for others, loving thy neighbors, helping the less fortunate, and they have passed these same values on, just like my parents did.

Since Connie is a high school friend, I began thinking about other high school friends and how they brought up their children and if their children continued teaching values to their kids.  After reflection, I could easily see this was exactly what took place.  I'm not naive enough to believe every child who is raised with good values turns into a productive adult, but most of the ones I know have.  And I have no reason to believe my friends are different from people in any other part of America, with the possible exception of California...just kidding, John.

So the next time you see or hear "shocking" news about some kid "gone wrong," remember there are thousands more "gone right."

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