Time passes quickly. Days turn to months turn to years and before I know it my young children will be adults. It’s the fear of the unknown future and the race against time that pushes me to teach my children now about the importance of good citizenship. I want my children to always enjoy life yet be grateful for what they have and in turn display generosity and kindness towards others.
I was just 26 years old when I escaped NYC on September 11th. I wound up walking to Brooklyn and it was there that I experienced such incredible citizenship. Strangers letting me in their house to use their bathroom. I remember stopping for a moment to take a break from walking and a woman giving me a bottle of water and a wet wash-cloth to clean my face off. As my children get older I will tell them about September 11th but, I will be sure to let them know about the people that helped me as well. I will tell them about the months after September 11th when I saw a city come together, when we all relied on one another just to get through the days. I will tell them how I bore witness to New Yorkers, Americans and the Whole World coming together to help so many heal, to pay their condolences to too many gone way too soon and to remind everyone that hate does not overshadow good.
Here are some things I want to teach my children as grow up:
• Be kind. It is easier to be kind then to be anything else.
• When you see a stranger, smile.
• When someone is walking behind you, hold the door.
• If you see an older person, give them your seat.
• Always say please and thank you.
• Be gracious.
• Don’t litter.
• Don’t be mean! You know what it feels like when others are mean to you; so don’t be like that!!
• Keep your hands to yourself, I taught you the meaning of words so use them!
• Be helpful.
• Be compassionate.
• Listen, really listen.
• Don’t be greedy, share.
• Make donations.
• Find a cause or two that you are passionate about and DO SOMETHING!!
There are age-appropriate ways to remind my children that we are ok and how we can help others. Children can pack up some groceries to bring to a food bank, participate in a charity event and always teach them the rules and laws that they must follow and respect.
As a mother I feel it’s my obligation to teach my children things by example. It’s great to tell them be good, be kind but it’s more important to show them how to be good. To help them learn to implement actions into their lifestyle that makes them good citizens. If they see their mother being good and kind, my hope is, they should want to be those things.