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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Color Your Life with Respect


17 Tamuz 5771

Today is a sad day on the Jewish calendar, 17 Tamuz. But despite the somber message of the day, I'll share a sweet message with you.

My neighbor's little girls adore playing in my large garden of vegetables, flowers and tiled patio. We spend considerable time chatting with each other in the kitchen, or on walks with the dog, too.

The other day, one of the children brought over a bouquet of colorful pictures she'd crayoned for me. "She loves you," her mother crooned. "She loves the way you treat her and her sister. She really does."

It was a touching moment. It bespeaks the respect I shower on the children, paying attention to their many questions, correcting their grammar with a cheerful remark, and simply getting down on their level to understand how they see the world. I keep responding to them in a way that invites the girls to think a bit harder, to consider new ideas and to behave a bit more maturely.

Does that come easily to me? Not always. Sometimes I'm rushed to meet a deadline or to accomplish some task. But children only know one thing: how you behave towards them. And my little neighbors now show mutual respect for me ;^ D

I hope that you will color your life with more time and respect for children and everyone in your life. The safety and kindness you create can help all of us to weather the storms of sadness, confusion and despair. Take time to figure out how you can do that, then keep at it until being more patient becomes easier and easier for you.

May you be blessed with gifts as sweet as the pictures now gracing my home.

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