Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Charity & Empathy

My parents are visiting from India and in the true fashion of grandparents everywhere, they have done all they can to spoil the kids in the 3 months they have spent with us. Not too long ago, Dad gave Arjun, my year old (6 and 3 quarters, actually) $20, ostensibly so he could buy more toys to add to his overflowing closet or more candy for his plaque-ridden teeth. Anyway, Arjun came back from school a week later and informed everyone that he had donated the entire amount, plus a few dollars from his 4 year old sister's savings (with her permission, of course) to "Pennies for Peace", a charity his school is running to support schools and education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mom, seeing her $20 or close to Rs 1000, go down the drain, threw a fit and told Arjun that money was for him. She further advised him that you donate minimal amounts to charity - a dollar or two. Arjun promptly, and indignantly, responded, "Nani, is it more important for me to have stuff or for the kids in Afghanistan to get an education? If I donated a dollar, only kid would get an education, now 20 kids can."
So, understandably, Mom had nothing to say and is now bragging to one and all about her grandson's benevolence. I have to admit, my first reaction when I heard of his magnanimity, was also to say, "What, the entire $20?" But I came to see the wisdom of his ways and had to pat his back and admire his clarity and prioritization.

Saanya, last night, told me she watched a movie in school about a magic school bus. She said some kid went to space and rather, misguidedly, removed his helmet in space and his head froze "like a popsicle". She went on to say,"It was very sad, Mommy."
"Really, Saanya? What did you do when you felt sad?" She looked at me puzzled and then said,"Nothing. It was a movie, Mom."
Lesson #2 - Do not get involved in a movie. The sad scene is, just

1 comment:

  1. Arjun has always demonstrated a great character; this is an impressive example. That boy will, in his quiet way, stand strong and make a difference in the world.