My Evo-Man got to go see the Dalai Lama yesterday. He was one of 15,000 kids from 25 different countries whose schools were picked to attend a special conference called ‘Seeds of Compassion,’ in Seattle.
He told me he was a little uncomfortable because everyone addressing the Dalai Lama said, ‘Your Holiness.’ It was a good chance for me to explain that while we don’t have to agree with certain aspects of other religions, it is wonderful to show respect and acknowledge others with compassion and realize just how much good they are doing. God loves all his children on this earth.
So the whole Mission of the conference was to nurture kindness and compassion in the world, starting with children and all who touch their lives. Evo-Man brought home a tee-shirt that mentioned the Three R’s, Respect for Self, Respect for Others, and Responsibility for Ones Own Actions.
Now, any way I can get these messages to sink into Evo-man is good. What a neat experience he had.
So last night we were having a little Family Council, Sometimes we call it, ‘The War Council,’ or ‘Family Fight Night,’ just because discussing family issues isn’t always the funnest thing to do. But our subject was a light one… ‘What are some of the activities that we can do as a family that you guy’s would enjoy?’ How hard of a topic is that? I also mentioned that it would be nice to try and mention the things you want to do but it wasn’t appropriate to tear down other people’s suggestions. Once we started it was clear that Evo-man’s O.D.D. was in full bloom. I couldn’t say a thing without super negative feedback, ‘That’s not fun… that’s really stupid… I don’t want to do that… and so on. I wanted to rip his Dalai Lama shirt off and shove it in his face. Of course since that would be un-motherly of me, I refrained.
Our counselors have mentioned that reacting with anger is absolutely the wrong thing to do when things go south. I don’t know too many ‘Seeds of Compassion’ that are angry seeds. But it is really hard not to get emotional. So, instead of losing it and destroying the discussion I simply walked out, hopped in the car and drove to the local supermarket to get some WW ice cream treats. By the time I got back home Evo-Man was all apologetic and had to give me a hug. The rest of the evening went well.
So I learned that I need to work harder at cultivating seeds of compassion with my kids. I immediately thought back to the little lesson I was trying to teach him earlier about tolerance. I’m glad I didn’t give into my natural reaction to lose it, however I need to make a greater effort to acknowledge the good things that my kids do, and praise them for it. Too often I’m all about correcting the mistakes they make, and that isn’t really compassion.
“The more we care for the happiness of others the greater our own sense of well-being becomes.” Dalai Lama