What parent doesn’t want their child to excel in The Game of Life? Young people who learn to accept graciously the kindness, generosity and goodwill of others will do well when those opportunities come.
We’ve all heard, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” It’s true, of course, but can’t receiving be a gift, also?
Considering the Impact
I had the opportunity to spend some time with a man who caused me to consider the impact of gracious acceptance. I couldn’t shake it from my thoughts as I realized how the practice of appreciative receiving can carry a young person far.
This young man’s story was compelling, but what his story has become goes much deeper. An accident on his ranch left him without the use of his legs and limited use of his upper body. He discovered, somewhat to his surprise, that he was especially gifted at touching and encouraging others with his story and what it means in their lives as well as his. A popular inspirational speaker with a powerful message, he has helped many face their difficulties and trials with renewed perspective and hope.
An Interesting Challenge
He told me how being quadriplegic brings plenty of challenges as he travels up to 300,000 per year all over the world. Most of the time, his only travel partner is his wheelchair. He shared how his most difficult challenge early on was not one of mobility; it was one of accepting graciously the kindness and assistance afforded by others.
Without their help he would be denied a way to support his family, but without his acceptance they would be denied a blessing. We all need both, don’t we?
Striking a Balance
Teaching our children the grace of acceptance means showing them the balance between extremes of “Leave me alone! I’ll do it myself” and “I’ll take all I can get because everyone owes me!” Teaching this sort of grace helps them manage the extremes of being overly prideful versus being overly dependent. It means teaching our children to go beyond “Thank You” creatively and authentically, be it with a card or note, an email, text, a call or a simple token or gift. Regardless of the gesture, it’s one that lasts.
Filling a Need
I’ve always been of the opinion that gracious appreciation and thanks are generally returned to the giver in a moment when they are most needed.
Why does it seem to work out that way?
I’m not sure; I think I’ll work on just accepting it.
A nationally recognized child and adolescent psychologist, author and speaker, Dr. James Sutton is in demand for his expertise on emotionally and behaviorally troubled youngsters, and his skill for sharing it. He the founder and host of The Changing Behavior Network, a popular internet radio program supporting young people and their families, and every month he publishes The Changing Behavior Digest, offering tips on managing difficult children and teens. Both resources (and others) are available at no cost through his website, http://www.DocSpeak.com.