We had our weekly Adventure Club meeting (read here about our Adventure Club!) and this week we are working on our Manners badge. I figured a great way to practice manners would be with a tea party!
From what we see in the world today, manners are hard to find. The fabric of our society has been bleached and torn to the point where people serve only themselves and not their fellow man. There is no love for others at large.
This is a hard concept to swallow when I look at my beautiful daughter all of seven years old, filled with hope and anticipation of the world she sees…one where people go to church, there is love in the home, laughter is scattered throughout the day and the evening brings sweet dreams in a warm bed. How do I prepare her for the gray, dull world without popping the bubble of her lovely picture of life?
As we pick out the tea cups, we talk about why we use manners. We don’t do it because it’s the rule. We do it because we want the best for others. We want to give them a hand to help, to support them, to encourage them, to honor them and to recognize them.
So we wait for the hostess of the tea party to pull out her chair before we sit as a way to show her we honor the hard work that went into putting the tea party together. We hold open a door for someone with hands full to recognize that person and to demonstrate that we value the importance of what that person is doing…even if what that person is doing is buying groceries for their own family. That’s important to them and therefore we honor that importance with helping by holding open the door for them.
The desire to use good manners must come from a genuine interest inside of us to want to help other people. We show them love by doing so. Saying ‘thank you’ isn’t just words. It shows the other person that we value what they did. Picking up something that someone else dropped is a way to reenforce the care we have towards others- though we may not know each other, we do look out for each other. We care for each other.
We talked a bit about this over the course of our tea party and I reminded girl child of scripture that says “…‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:40). We talked about who the “brothers” are in this passage. Brothers are everyone around you. Everyone you come in contact with.
So every time you smile at someone you’ve done it unto the Lord.
Every time you let someone have your chair on the bus, you’ve done it unto the Lord.
Every time you share your toy with a friend or sister, you’ve done it unto the Lord.
Every time you give your lunchtime apple to the hungry, homeless man on the street, you’ve done it unto the Lord.
Always do things for others knowing that you’ve done it unto the Lord. This will keep your heart and mind in the right place as you navigate through the gray, dull world. What you will see is light and hope in those small moments when a smile is exchanged.