There are 2 points that I know in my mind and parents can usually agree on.
1) We should parent by example AND
2) We don't need our kids to be brilliant and rich. Instead we would like to see them happy and capable to make a difference in their world.
But can we and do we link these 2 conditions together? We want them to be happy, are we? And more importantly we want them to make a difference in their world, but are we doing the same? The latter question being the crux of the matter.
Or are we caught up in the endless cycle of making a living for the sole purpose of elevating our lifestyle and creating a safety net for our kids?
There are 2 aspects to this from the people I see and know around me.
The first is easier so I shall mention that first. The parents themselves don't see the need to make any difference to the world. And even if they do, since every one has a conscience, they do so through means of once-in-a-while charity or recycling. What I have in mind when I talk about making a difference is in our everyday lives. Forever and always considering love for thy neighbor.
But the excuse behind this would be - I don't even have sufficient time to get my own house in order, what more love my neighbor. Truthfully, it does not take much effort to love thy neighbor. It just takes a determined action to divert some time and effort from self pleasure. In other words, our sole purpose should not be in purely elevating our lifestyle but to live a life of sufficiency.
The second aspect is the concept of a safety net. We work hard to earn sufficient savings, for a rainy day, so to speak. But savings are never sufficient. It's very much like losing weight, once you start and feel elated with the results, it becomes an endless cycle of requirement, counting, increasing the limitations.
So much so, love to thy neighbor becomes a calculated action. Sometimes even an action that subconsciously demands something in return. After all, we need to take care of ourselves. If we don't do that, who will?
But living in God's kingdom seems contradictory to the 2 aspects and excuses we think of. Living in God's kingdom is not all about leaving it up tot God. He never told us to live our lives that way. But He did command us to love our neighbor, sometimes even more than ourselves. Not that we should suffer in their stead. But in right sense to consider the needs of our neighbor and not only our own.
If I want to take it a little further, I should ask myself: How can I make a difference to my world? Will the difference I intend to make be a positive example for my kids?
But I do know that if we live a white mice wheel of stagnant running in that circle that goes no where, this will also be the live that they will turn out to lead. In my case, always working for safety, never working for the now.
Food for thought.....