When we’re busy running around doing what we do – home, work, sports, volunteering – we sometimes forget that they’re watching. They’re watching silently – keeping an eye on every move, every choice, every emotion and every action. Day in and day out, moment by moment, they continue to observe our expressions of generosity, sincerity, love or the lack thereof – continually noticing our reactions and responses. And, they’re waiting. Waiting until it’s their turn to act, to choose, to decide.
Who are these “on-lookers”, those who are taking it all in surreptitiously ? If you guessed ghosts or the IRS, guess again. Give up? They’re our children who begin to watch what we do, what we say, how we act and react every day from the very beginning of their lives. We’re teaching them, although we may be unaware of their ability to record, remember and repeat the choices that we’ve made.
What’s my point here? It’s this: Often, we’re so busy talking, trying to impart what we hope is our well-earned wisdom, that we lose sight of what’s really going on – that our actions speak with such ear shattering volume, that our well-intentioned words are unable to be heard.
Yesterday I watched two not-so-young people speak softly and act loudly – they chose to make room in their hearts and their home for an elderly, loved relative. The “volume” of their choice, the kindness of their actions spoke so eloquently that no words were necessary. I listened with rapt attention to the words to their loving song and heard their gifts. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for all of us, kids included, to listen to that song on our Ipods.