“Big Takes Care of Little” – Making A Difference In Haiti

by Amy Hilbrich Davis

in Parenting,Personal Wellness,Support

Since the earthquake in Haiti, when I haven’t been driving my kids to their activities, making dinner, or tucking them in at night, my mind has wandered to the devastation and horror blanketing that country. I feel such sadness for the children lost and families destroyed. I can’t imagine one of my kids wandering the streets searching for me, or digging for life in the rubble of our house. It is at these times that I am reminded of our family’s motto: Big takes care of little.

We have raised our large family with many mantras or mottos, yet “Big takes care of little” Is the most important. In our home it means that the older kids nurture the younger ones. In the community it means that those with more to give have a responsibility to nurture those in need. We believe that in serving others we change lives and improve the world. This mantra echoes daily in the halls of our house and led me to reach out five years ago after Hurricane Katrina.

Days after Hurricane Katrina wiped out New Orleans, I learned of an organization in our area collecting stuffed animals to send to children displaced by the tragedy. I thought it was an ideal way for my little ones to comprehend loss and understand how “Big takes care of little” outside of our home. I wanted them to see how our mantra could make a difference globally, outside of Kansas City. Upon hearing how the water was destroying homes, belongings, and even stuffed animals,  each one of the kids ran up to their rooms and offered as many as they could carry– imagine how many stuffed animals seven children can accumulate over the years. The memory of each child ransacking their room to fill bag after bag remains one of my proudest. They were giving without considering their own desires. They were living our family’s mantra and I was planting the seed of community service.

If we as parents plant this seed early in the lives of our children, and nurture it, we are likely to raise compassionate kids who feel empowered and believe that they can and will make a difference in both their life and the lives of others. Their efforts matter.

Please join our family this week (if you haven’t already) and pledge to make a difference for children and their families in Haiti. Make time to sit down together and discuss the earthquake. Use age appropriate language to describe it, and how many people have been hurt. Be clear that they are in no danger. Acknowledge their feelings and share yours appropriately. Talk about how you want your family to help.  Ask each of your kids how they think they can make a difference in the life of just one child who is sad. What can they do? Brainstorm with them. Empower them with a sense of control and a plan to make it happen.

By building on the theme “Big takes care of little,” we are all raising globally friendly, tolerant, and compassionate kids— good neighbors.  None of us individually is as strong as we all are together.

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