But maybe it should be, considering our little guy will be joining us in just a few days and I haven’t packed a bag yet. Another story for another day perhaps.
I’m talking about what sits neatly (or sometimes haphazardly) on the floor of my passenger side, that has recently become a topic of conversation for people new to riding in the Cube. A gallon ziplock bag filled with essentials:
- Bottle of water
- Granola bar
- Pair of socks
- Travel toothbrush/paste
- Tissue/wet wipes
Yes, at first glance it could definitely be mistaken for a hospital bag, except I haven’t quite hit the Minimalist Mindset yet.
Every so often perspective hits you right between the eyes. Over a year ago C and I were going through our finances and trying to figure out where we wanted to allocate some extra money since we’d just finished paying off a bill that we’d been working on for a while.
As I started to throw a number out for our savings it struck me how fortunate we were. It’s Saturday and I’m sipping coffee in my slippers talking about how much money we wanted to put away for a rainy day and realizing that not terribly far from we live there are people focused on where they might get their next meal, shower or safe place to sleep.
I was immediately motivated to do something. Something that could have a real impact on someone. I started looking online for inspiration – big, small, anything. It didn’t take long to find a few posts on what is commonly called a “Blessing Bag”. A bag of essentials that could immediately benefit its recipient. The more I researched the better I felt the idea was. I wasn’t wild about the idea of calling it a blessing, it’s a helping hand to a fellow human. Call them what you will, but in a matter of hours we were shopping and picking up what we needed to start putting them together.
Like most people at this point, C and I don’t typically carry cash. So when driving if we were to encounter someone fallen on hard times at an exit or intersection there wasn’t much we could do. Keeping these bags in the car have been a great way to help those we meet instantly and without excuse.
Now that J is old enough to point out garbage trucks and school buses when we’re on the road, we know it’s just a matter of time until he starts asking about other things he sees. I want to explain that we may all have different circumstances, but we are all human. I want to set a positive example and teach him that grand gestures, although wonderful, are not necessary to show compassion and empathy for others. Not to look away from a situation that makes him uncomfortable, but to think about how he might be able to change it, even in the slightest way. Small things can make a difference.
For the other parents out there, how do you teach your kids by doing?