Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)
TITLE: Volunteering Solves Greed
By Michelle Burkhardt
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“Who wants chocolate chip pancakes?” All four of our sons responded in unison, “Me!” After round one, my littlest child asked for one more pancake. He is only three and his eyes are quite bigger than his belly. So, I informed him that he was only going to get a half of one. My husband was still cooking, therefore, I asked my two oldest, “Who wants the other half of Randy’s pancake?” To my disappointment, they began to argue. They are twins and have had to share everything, including the space in my belly. I believe this is the reason that they sometimes can be come so competitive. Yet, on the other hand, they can be so loving, kind and compassionate. However, on this Thanksgiving morning the only explanation to describe their behavior was greed.
Half of a pancake was not good enough; each one wanted a whole pancake and became angry at each other for not being the one to take Randy’s leftovers. I am the type of parent that believes in the concept, “one and done.” There are no second chances for this type of behavior. They were both asked to leave the table. I let them stew for a few minutes in their room and then, I proceeded to talk to them about their unlike Christ behavior. “Greed is the root of all evil. Whether it’s money, power or even a little pancake, you two are focusing on yourselves and not others.” I lectured. I told them that it’s time that I take them to the local shelter to have them help serve the homeless people who have nothing. Maybe then, they will understand how fortunate they are to have 3 warm meals a day.
I have always thought about volunteering for the holidays. When they were two I even took them to the nearest elderly home to meet some of the residents there. Shortly there after, they both became very sick with asthma and the slightest cold could send them into a tailspin, therefore, I stopped going. Their asthma has been under control for several years now and quite honestly, I don’t think I wanted to go. It dawned on me that greed has even struck me. I would read in the local paper year after year about opportunities to spread the Good Will to others. I can recall the excuses that rolled around in my head, “We are busy on that day, that location is too far, what if someone crazy tries to hurt us?” In my selfishness, I can now see that I wanted my holidays to be free from stress, sadness and work.
Volunteering just might be our solution to greediness. During this Christmas season my whole family will remember why we celebrate holidays in the first place. It is a time to show love and kindness to each other…including strangers. Maybe I’ll be able to find a pancake breakfast to help with.
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