When I see these bowls, I see much more than bowls.
I see artists throwing clay on their wheels and dipping bisque fired pots into vats of glaze.
I see community members and artisans connecting together in celebration.
I see hungry families eating.
I see acts of kindness and gratitude.
Acts of kindness and gratitude are contagious.
If we as parents want to raise our children with kind hearts, then we must lead by example. My Dad is an example of this. This month, he and a few other artists gathered to make, fire, and glaze hundreds of pots to be sold at their local arts festival. Only, none of these artists would make any money on these sales. Every penny earned gets donated to their local food pantry. This group has organized a similar Empty Bowls event for several years.
This food pantry then uses the funding to buy food to stock the shelves for needy families.
To this date, they have raised over $3,000 for the local pantry.
My Dad has a heart of gold. He also understands that gratitude is contagious and shares his passion and enthusiasm about helping others with my kids and I. My kids hear the excitement in his voice when he talks about helping others. They see these bowls and ask …
Child: Why are there so many bowls?
Mom: Because Grandpa and his friends made them. They are going to sell them to make money to buy food for the food pantry?
Child: What is a food pantry?
Mom: A food pantry is a place that families can go if they are hungry, but don’t have money to buy food. The food pantry will get them something to eat.
Child: That’s really nice of Grandpa.
Mom: It is. Grandpa is really cool like that. We need more people to fill their hearts with kindness.
Child: What do you think I could do to help others?
What can we do to help others?
At four and seven years old it is hard to grasp the life struggles that many in our community and abroad face. At 33 years old, I cannot even still not come close to understanding, but I try to fill my heart with gratitude and kindness, to lead by example, and hopefully raise compassionate children.
We, as parents and teachers, get to choose every day the kind of impact we want to make on our community and our children. Thanks to people, like my Dad, I am inspired to make a commitment to my family and set aside time in which my family spreads kindness and gratitude.
In our upcoming celebrations of Thanksgiving and the blessings in our lives, will you and your family take a moment to serve?
What will you do to spread kindness and gratitude?