One of the most important lessons small children learn is how to share.
Share their toys.
Share a parent's love.
Share time on the Xbox.
But being GENEROUS with our time, emotions, or things isn't always easy. Maybe you don't want to let the kid next door play with your stuff. Maybe finding out you're going to be a big brother or a big sister has you wondering if your parents are still going to love you as much as the new baby. And maybe you just want to have a few more minutes to beat the game.
Sharing doesn't have to mean giving up everything. Being GENEROUS with your toys just might give you a chance to make a new friend.
Learning how to be a Big Brother or a Big Sister might give you a chance to show your parents how grown up you've become.
And having to wait to catch the bad guy on a video game just might teach you how to have a little patience.
Take a few minutes to read this week's story about two angry brothers who didn't know how to be GENEROUS with each other, until it was almost too late to learn.
TWO ANGRY BROTHERS
Once there were two brothers who were great friends and always played together. However, one day they had a huge argument about one of their toys. In the end, they decided that from then on they would only be allowed to play with their own individual toys.
They had so many toys and things that they agreed to spend the next day sorting out which toy belonged to whom. So the next day each brother got to work, making a pile of his own things. When they had finished doing the big toys it was time to sort the little stuff. However, they had already taken so long that it was time for bed, so they left the small toys for the next day. The same thing happened the next day, because they had started dividing up parts of the house.
Day after day it was the same story. They were spending their whole time deciding what, among all kinds of things, belonged to either one of them.
Anything would set them off: seeing an animal, a tree, or even a stone. In the end, they had accumulated two complete mountains of stuff which had to be kept out in front of the house.
As the years passed, nothing changed: every morning they would meet up to argue about which things belonged to whom. They were getting older, and everyone now knew them as "the grumpy old men". No one had ever seen them smile.
That was, until one morning they went out and found that their two mountains of stuff had been totally mixed up together. Someone had been there, mixing their things up! After all that time and effort they had spent to separate everything!
Furious, the brothers tried to find who had done it. Soon they found a pair of children playing on the other side of the mountains of stuff. They were happily playing together, picking everything up, careless of whether they were mixing it all together. They looked really happy, enjoying themselves to the max.
Seeing the children so happy, the two grumpy old brothers realized how foolish they had been for so many years. They had given up playing with anything, instead spending their whole lives arguing over what was theirs to play with. How sad they felt, for spending their lives in anger. At the same time, though, they were happy to have finally realized their foolishness.
They spent that day, and the rest of their days, playing together with those two children, mixing everything up, and sharing it all. People even stopped calling them the grumpy old men. Now people called them the 'Big Kids'.
When you think about it, wouldn't you want to be known as the Big Kid too?