As we get older, we often find ourselves become more jaded and more cynical. After a few bumps, scratches and wounds, the walls go up. But the beauty of children is their overwhelming desire to simply love.
My son Tristan, who prays for sick children in the hospital, admonishes me when I pass by a homeless person on the street and don’t give him/her money, and doesn’t let me raise my voice is an example of this unfettered love and optimism. He instituted the use of a “charity” envelope at home to raise money for charity. He said “If anyone yells in this house, you have to pay $1. And all the money will go to charity.”
I have always encouraged Tristan to give back. He doesn’t get new toys unless he donates the old ones to a child in need. I have always tried to instill in him to be grateful for all that he has, and to know that he is blessed because there are many children out there who don’t have anything.
But the funny thing is, Tristan has always wanted to give back whether I encouraged him to or not. Tristan is 8 now and he is just as full of love now as he ever was. I hope that as he grows older, he will take the lessons he learned at a young age so it becomes a way of life for him and not just something he thinks about once in a while when he sees a tragedy on TV or passes a homeless person on the street.
Tristan has truly inspired me to become a better person through his selflessness and love for others. One of my favorite quotes is from Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in this world.” And Tristan does that, every day.
Here is my sketch of this quote: