Sitting by the window at Lorenzo’s, my local Italian restaurant, I watched as a man with no disability pulled his black Range Rover into the handicapped spot by the front door. He and his wife got out of the truck and opened the rear passenger door where their son emerged. The little boy couldn’t have been more that 8 years old and managed to make his way from the back seat of Daddy’s car, all the way to the table next to mine, where they were seated for dinner, never taking his eye’s off of his Gameboy.
Technology lacks the depth that feeds our souls. When the children of today grow up and enter their 30’s, 40’s even their 80’s, it’s not going to be the Xbox, the Blue Ray disc player or the sixty inch plasma in the family room they had as a kid that gave them character.
Explore nature. Go for a walk in the park, take hour long hikes in the forest -be sure to check under every rock along the way. Search for frogs, lizards, snakes and anything else you can find. Go bug hunting. If you’re lucky enough to come across a stream, kick off your shoes and appreciate the crisp cool water as you wade through it. Go Camping, take them fishing and have picnics in the grass. Teach your children how to skip stones.
These are the gifts that count, the ones that can be passed down from generation to generation – but you have to take the time. It’s too easy to get home from work, pop in the latest Disney DVD in order to keep the little guys busy while you sit in front of your PC and recap your brokerage account.
I’ve got nothing against Range Rovers, Plasma TV’s or video games but make sure your children realize that those are mere extras in life and not the things needed for happiness. I know too many people who spend so much time trying to keep up with the Jones’s, that they lose sight of the things that truly matter. Life is about the simple things.
When your kids get older and move out on there own, some of them my achieve financial success, some may not. Some children will make it big, but then lose everything. Money may come and money may go, but there will always be mountains to climb, streams to fish and trails to hike. If you can teach your children to love and appreciate nature, then you have given them valuable memories of time spent with you in the great outdoors that won’t be forgotten, can never be taken away and can someday be shared with their own children.
“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” -Charles Haddon Spurgeon