Sunday, September 25, 2011

Social Consciousness, Developing Empathy.

Hubby and I have been on a path lately. Sometimes it feels like a warpath because of the amount of friction that any amount of mind and habit changing incurs, but mostly it's a path towards peace and love. (Well, we HOPE anyway!) It was really unintended, this new way we're walking, and it all started with our garden and our food.

We've been trying to instill a broader social conscience in our kids. They have so much and lately it seems like they are taking it all for granted. (not appreciating good, healthy food, misuse of belongings and abuse of privileges.) So, we've been talking about other kids in other lands that don't have even the simplest of the things that we think are rights, like clean water and food. As with most things I teach the kids, visual references are key, so we YouTubed a few videos that illustrated the hardships that most of the world has to bear. The lesson was meant for the boys, but all of us were moved and I cried myself to sleep Friday night, wondering what we could do to help the world and hoping for direction of some sort to come to me in my sleep.

So, yesterday morning as we were attempting to clear the front jungle--I mean MOW THE LAWN-- a neighbor came by to collect cans for the local Food Bank. Since we've gone Paleo and won't be going back, much of our very large "Apocalypse Now" non-Paleo food storage items were nearing their expiration dates. Husband called a meeting of the minds and after careful and thoughtful consideration over the course of 35 seconds we decided to donate a good two-thirds of our non-Paleo items. (I was all for donating everything, but Husband and Boy 1 still have this running thing about a potential Zombie attack, and apparently we'll have a better chance at survival so long as we have superfluous amounts of non-fat dry milk, canned white flour and dehydrated refried beans.) Anyhow, we packed up the food and the kids and drove to the Food Bank and let the boys unload our wares. We explained to them beforehand what we were doing and how this was helping other families in our town. I was proud of our little guys because there was a treasure trove of their old faves (peaches in heavy syrup, hamburger helper, Gushers fruit snacks, cake mixes, etc) that they cheerfully unloaded and donated with their own little hands and nary a wince or sniffle! That's pretty great for a 4 and 7 year old!

On our way home Boy 1 talked about how we could maybe give some of our money to the kids we saw on the YouTube videos. As a family we've now decided to clean out our house and donate all the things that we don't want/ need/have too much of to a yard sale. We will take a portion of the money made there and donate it to charities that we would like to support. So far, we have this one:

Friends of Kingston, A charity established in memory of my little cousin who was taken too early by a very rare auto-immune disorder that, up until 2 days before he passed no one knew he had. X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), which is also known as Duncan’s disease, is a rare often fatal disease that affects only boys. To date only about 100 families and 400+ boys have been diagnosed worldwide. It is likely, however, that there are many more cases where the correct diagnosis has not been made. This charity was formed to help families, like my Uncle's, who are affected by XLP.

We'd also like suggestions for a reputable charity that fights hunger/starvation and doesn't re-direct the money they receive. If you know of one, please let me know.


  1. Wow! You guys are awesome, what lucky kids you have. It's funny that you mention the path toward peace and love all started with your garden and your food. I noticed the same thing here. Garden, food = peace, love. Huh.


  2. Sooooo freaking cool Eileen!! I'm so proud of my lil guys!!
    And so proud of my big sis. :)

  3. Way to go SIS!! I have a couple of things I would LOVE to donate to your garage sale!!:) You are and have always been SOOO compassionate!! I LOVE YOU!!