As we celebrate kindness month – Nov. 13 being World Kindness Day – I'd like to share a story of 5-year-old David, who, at this young age, made a gesture to make a difference in less fortunate children's lives.
David is primarily raised by his mother while his father is off island completing his education and training to be a family physician.
When David turned 3, his sister, Helen, was born. His father flew in to help with the newborn. David was excited when he saw his sister, but at the same time, he was pondering what was going to happen to him. In his young mind, there was this little infant cradled by everyone with such gentleness and affection, and he was just this little kid.
Would he still be the preferred son that he was the only child? His father, who is a kind and wise man, reassured him of his love. His dad encouraged him to look after Helen and to always be there for mommy.
He loved to draw and write. David would draw illustrations for his stories and write his expression of love for his family and friends. At times, he drew himself with tears on his cheeks. He would tell Nana he is sad because Dad was not with them. He told Nana his dream is to have his parents be together with him and his sister all the time.
In a few short years, following his sister's birth, he has matured in a very positive manner with the guidance of his family.
Mom, too, had a very busy schedule. She was working, finishing up her own doctoral degree, and caring for the children. David had to grow up quickly. He held a different role now in his family. He was the big brother who had to help Mom with household chores and the care of his baby sister.
David, at that point, could organize his clothes, keep his bed tidy and be a little helper when his mom needed things for Helen’s care and simple household chores.
He was, as all children do, adapting to the situation at home and to his new role in the family.
David and his grandparents would often attend church whenever they visited. Not too long ago, David took money from his piggy bank to church and when his grandfather saw how much he was planning to give, his grandpa suggested, in a very soft voice, if David wanted to give $100 instead of $200. The boy could use the other $100 to treat himself and his sister with new toys, the grandpa suggested.
David responded he and his sister already have a lot of toys.
The 5-year-old told his grandpa he worried about kids who don't have anything to eat or no home to sleep in.
David was adamant he wanted to put his money into the church collection basket because he felt giving that money would help less-fortunate children.
People overheard David and chuckled.
His grandpa finally gave in and said, if that's his wish it's OK. They both looked at each other and smiled.
At a very young age, David is respectful, kind and generous.
And in a few weeks, this little boy is relocating to be one happy family. David’s dream for his family to be in one place will soon become a reality. We wish you well, David, you are a fantastic kid with a kind heart.
Some tips to share kindness in your life:
1. Send a happy, kind note to a family member or a friend.
2. If someone needs to cut into your lane, wave and give her a smile.
3. In your daily prayers include intentions of good health and well-being.
4. Go out of your comfort zone, connect with someone and share joy.
5. Give a compliment to a co-worker, or anyone.
6. Treat someone to lunch or offer a snack.
Marie Virata Halloran is a registered nurse who is certified in grief and death studies. She is also Rainbows for All Children Guam/LifeWorks Guam executive director.