It's no wonder that this Fishful Thinking activity caught my eye as I was browsing around the site:
Ingredients: Optimism, Empowerment
The first, and most important, step in enhancing your family's sense of meaning is to think about experiences in the past that have felt meaningful. You can do this by sitting down and making an "It Felt Meaningful When" list. Ask each person in the family to share times when they felt that they were engaged in something meaningful and talk about what made it feel that way.
Here's what we came up with this afternoon (in the words of my kiddos) :
It felt meaningful "and nice" when...
- We made a blanket for kids at the hospital that need help.(Pat found a website for Project Linus and met the kids and me to deliver our no-sew fleece blanket to the local chapter yesterday. We talked about how a giving a new warm blanket to a child who is sick is like giving a great big hug and would help him/her to feel a little bit better. The Young Women at church made a couple of them too so we delivered those as well.)
- We donated t-shirts and tennis shoes for the kids in Haiti (through a drive at Abby's school).
- Abby: I did Jump Rope for Heart for kids with disease when their hearts don't work right.
I hope that these meaningful experiences will help teach my kids to have greater empathy for others, and, as a family, we will grow stronger and become better because of these opportunities. When you think about it, there are so many ways to make a positive difference in the world around us. We just have to make the effort to take advantage of them.