Saturday, December 04, 2004

An inspiring act of love

An inspiring act of love

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Friday, December 3, 2004 11:52 PM

Today was indeed a good day. I got a lot of inspiration from my daughter Alexandra, a 20-year-old psychology student at St. Scholastica’s College.

She called me to tell me she had a problem. “I have a classmate and a friend, Pa, and she is short of P8,000 to enroll for the next semester. If she can’t make it, that will set her back a couple of years. We can’t let it happen, Pa.”

She went on to tell me that she was talking to friends about raising the money and lending it to her needy friend who wasn’t asking for help but who did not show up for the first day of class.

“I can put in P1,000 and some of our friends are willing to do what they can,” she said, “but, we don’t think we will have enough. Can you help, Pa?”

“See what you can do first, then get back to me,” I replied, while remembering the management motto I have always applied to raising my kids: “Never do anything for a subordinate that he can do himself if you want him to grow.”

An hour or so later, Alexandra called back. “Pa, we were able to raise P5,000, but are still short.”

“Okay,” I answered, “I’ll lend you the rest and you can lend it to her.”

Alexandra heaved a sigh of relief and expressed her heartfelt gratitude. Later, she texted me another thank you. I responded: “Dats wat friends are for!” She sent me another beautiful text, and I again responded: “It’s my great pleasure to be part of such an inspiring act of love.”

And indeed I felt a deep sense of happiness in my heart. When you raise children, you hope and pray that they will become the best that they can be. Well educated, outgoing, successful and loved are some of the qualities we all hope for. But, more than that, we want them to be kind, sensitive and generous. We pray that the nobility that is within the human heart will rise to the surface.

I told Alexandra that I was truly proud of her for caring enough for her friend to put her money on the line and join with her friends to do the same. It showed a goodness of heart that so many young persons share.

We parents need to stay alert and plug into even the smallest acts of kindness that our kids show. We need to encourage them by word and our behavior to reach out to their fellow humans who do not have as much. We need to urge them to give their time and effort when they don’t have the material wealth to share. Whatever they can do, they should do. It becomes part of the nurturing process that is needed to mold the noble heart. And we parents should be eager to be involved in this dimension of child rearing. It’s called values formation.

From the earliest years, we need to show our children that kindness and generosity is a family value that is cherished. Once that is done, the young ones will take it from there.


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