Last Saturday, a local community held a free Easter Egg Hunt for small children. Volunteers from the local college signed up to be on site and assist.
The rules were quite clear:
- It started promptly at 11 am.
- Only children were to pick up the eggs. (parents could point to the eggs but the children needed to pick them up)
- Limit of 5 eggs per child.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
Well, Saturday morning arrived. Early that morning, the eggs were hidden for excited little children to discover and add to their baskets.
By 10:30, many moms with their little ones had arrived. But only half of the volunteers showed up.
By 10:45, a mom decided that she was "too busy" to wait around until 11, so she took her children past the "starting line" and had them start picking up eggs with no thought to the "5 egg limit". Other moms saw this and followed en mass. There was nothing the limited number of volunteers could do except move out of the way!
By 11, many of the eggs had been picked up. Lots of baskets held more than the "5 egg" limit.
The moms who arrived with their kids at 11 were disappointed and angered to find that the Easter Egg Hunt had started before the scheduled time and that most of the eggs were already claimed. Some of them yelled at the volunteers. Many little children who ended up "egg-less" were crying.
One of the volunteers went up to a mom who had 3 children, each with a basket holding almost double the "5 egg limit". She asked the mom if her kids would please share with the kids who didn't have any... the response was "No! Next time they need to be here on time!". Her children looked smug because they didn't have to share.
Volunteers approached many of these competitive moms, only to have their requests brushed aside.
As one volunteer moved through the crowd of the "haves" and "have-nots", she was stopped in her tracks. Directly in front of her, a small child stopped on his own in front of a crying child who had an empty basket. "Here", the small boy said kindly. "You can have some of my eggs."
The boy took 3 of his eggs and gently placed them in the little girl's basket. He gave the girl a big smile. A smile lit up her face, the tears stopped, and she hugged her basket as she thanked him for sharing.
Standing a little taller with an ear-to-ear grin, the boy turned to his mom so they could walk to the car. His basket was empty.
Both moms shared a look - the boy's mom was filled with love and pride as she witnessed her son's heart-felt compassion. The little girl's mom was filled with awe and gratitude toward a little boy and his mom who truly exemplified the reason we celebrate Easter.
But what lessons did the "dumb" moms teach their kids?
1. Rules don't have to be followed.
2. Greed and winning mean everything.
3. As long as we "have", it doesn't matter that others don't. That's their problem.
What's really sad is that these moms probably don't even realize the values their actions are instilling in their children.
So think about your actions - what are they saying to your family? Your friends? Your customers? Someone is always observing how you live... what are your actions saying about you?
One problem. One solution. 15 Minutes. Done.
What in the world are these dumb moms teaching their children?