A Little Life Lesson in Others-Centeredness

Posted by Mark Tubbs
In News & Notes
January 12, 2011 @ 8:17 PM

As is so often the case, today I learned a lesson in being a more godly Christian from one of my children.

My oldest, a six-year old boy, has been involved in a once-a-week after-school class called Toastminors (think Toastmasters for kids) in which he is learning public speaking, giving and receiving critique, and showing respect to and for others. Last night was their first of two yearly presentations evenings. His responsibility was to deliver a short speech about the activities he plans for the next time it snows - which was this morning, incidentally, with record-breaking snowfalls in parts of the British Columbian Lower Mainland. Unfortunately, all-day school and a playdate put paid to his plans to sled, skate, and drink hot chocolate the next time it snows, but he didn't seem to mind.

My son was destined to present his speech fourth in a program of about 25 six to eight year-olds, and I positioned myself well to take a minute of video - the duration of his speech. He acquitted himself admirably and returned to his seat to take in the rest of the program. He listened to the subsequent speeches intently, laughed at and explained to us the jokes they told, mouthed poems along with those who recited them, and clapped heartily at the end of every effort. As for myself, I watched (sometimes "long-suffered") the rest of the program too, but with video camera turned off and tucked away.

After the presentation evening was over, I notified him that I had taken video of his presentation and that we could watch it again at home. Immediately he asked whether I had taken video of the whole evening - all his fellow Toastminors' presentations. I just wanted to watch him; he wanted to watch others. Touché.

Another day, another lesson out of the mouth of babes.