Thoughts. Experiences. Inspiration.

A comment on "An 8 Year Old Boy With A Mission"

November 27, 2015 0

When I was young, one of the things my parents used to take me to do was visit a local temple on the weekend. These visits were more cultural than anything; there was no meaning to the rituals and we kids had no idea what was going on. All we knew is we would be given some money to buy flowers and joss sticks to offer on the altar, to mutter some prayers to Kuan Yin the Goddess of Compassion, and then be given some coins at the end of our visit to donate to the beggars outside.

That last part was for me the highlight of my visits. I enjoyed dropping a coin into each of their cups and then going back to harass my father for more. Yes, literally harass – he would ask me why I needed more when I already got my share of coins from him, and my argument would always be that not everyone got a coin so it is unfair. Those were the days of the RM1 coin…

But I digress. If there are some lessons I can thank my parents for, it is for making this kind of activity a regular part of our weekly schedules, no matter how perfunctory the giving was. So when I read about young kids like Christian growing out their hair and tolerating the accompanying bullying, so he can donate his hair to make wigs I am touched, inspired and reminded of the parts of my childhood that have (I hope) had a positive impact on me.


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When I read about this little boy, the first thing that comes to mind is what did his parents do to raise their son to think in this way? They have raised a boy who is willing to put his discomfort aside for the sake of benefiting others.

Some might say, “Well, it’s just a little boy, no need to be so dramatic” but think back to when you were eight years old. At the age of eight, did you have the presence of mind to think of such a creative way to help others? Did you even think about helping others?

So when the child starts young like this, it bodes very well for their future because it means they can think big and they can think beyond themselves, even at such a young age.

Recently, I have been reading many articles about young children doing similar acts. For example, the media recently covered the story of a young boy who donated US$20 to Syrian refugees when he heard how much they are suffering. He had been saving up his money to buy an iPad but decided they needed his money more so he donated it. To me, this reflects that a child’s natural state of mind is kindness because their ability to make sacrifices for the sake of others from a young age.

It’s especially important that parents nurture this aspect of their children because anyone can teach them maths, reading, history, geography, etc. But all of these are *skills* and *knowledge*, and they are not the development of character or quality of being. Rinpoche actually previously gave a talk about this here which some may find interesting:

Reflections and Teachings

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