He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

~Luke 10:27

 I’ve been teaching my boys to say thank you for absolutely everything. Some might call it excessive, or hounding, or nagging, but I don’t care. I’m perfectly confident to call it parental indoctrination and my hope is that, if repeated enough, healthy habits will form, and manners will become like second nature.

Yesterday we went to the convenient store to get five cent candies. They are JT’s favourite and he had reached a milestone on his listening chart. The treat was well earned and deserved, and this is what he chose as his treat.

Since he’s turing into such a big boy, I told him he could pay the lady. I gave him the exact change and told him to look her in the eyes, give her the money, and tell her what it was for.

He said, “Hi, my name is JT. My mom said I could get candies today because I’n (his way of saying I’m) such a good boy. Here’s my money. But you know what? My brother is not a good listener. He never listens to me when I tell him to give me his cars.”

She replied, “Good job for being such a good boy. Enjoy your candies!”

He smiled, eyed his candies, looked at me, looked back at her, and said, “Thank you lady, have a nice day!”

We all smiled and walked out.

A few seconds later that lady came rushing out of the store to say, “Excuse me ma’am, I just wanted to say thank you for teaching your son such wonderful manners. There aren’t many people who look me in the eyes these days.”

Overcome with emotion, I hugged her. I was so proud of JT, but I was also saddened by her truth. Where has common courtesy gone? What happened to the golden rule?

Dear parents: let us commit to raising a generation of kids who are going to acknowledge human beings as human beings. Are we so busy that we can’t even look people in the eyes anymore?

Free 7-Day ebook

Making Space

Carving Out Time For God In The Midst Of Your Busy Life

With a million things to do and not enough hours in the day to get it done, it's easy to zone out and slip into autopilot in order to survive. But perhaps life is not about adding more things to your already lengthy list, but rather, about pausing in the midst of it all to consider if what you're doing is really important.