I was sitting watching the kid in her gymnastics class – a class I enjoy even more now that I don’t also have to take part. I was sitting in front of the great big windows they have so parents can see into the gym and there were other parents all around, one was a dad with a little boy and a little girl both waiting to go in for their class. The little girl pointed out some garbage on the floor. Someone had dropped a snack wrapper of some sort. The dad looked down to see what she was talking about and said: “That’s okay, don’t worry about it, it’s not our garbage.”

Would it have hurt him to suggest to his daughter that since she had noticed the garbage she could pick it up and put it in the garbage can that was right behind him?

I could not believe it… but then again I could. It explains a lot about people that I meet around the city if parents are teaching their children that something like that is someone else’s problem.

It brought up so many things in my mind – People who don’t try to be courteous any more, opening doors for each other or giving up the right of way, because we should only be taking care of ourselves. People who don’t try to understand each other any more because if you don’t believe what I believe then you’re just wrong. Bullies who get away with brutal behaviour because kids are being taught that it’s always someone else’s job to speak up.

The world is turning into a place of ‘Don’t care, not my problem’ and it stinks.

My daughter will learn empathy. She will hold doors open for others or say thank you when the door is held open for her. She will ask ‘how can I help?’ in a given situation.

How do you teach your kids to think about others in their day to day lives?

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