we were watching the film "out of the blue" yesterday, about the aramoana tragedy, but this post really isn't about that incident. rather, one of my kids couldn't believe that people lived in the modest houses like some of the ones she saw in the film. and it occurred to me that she really doesn't have any idea about poverty, not really, not any kind of personal experience.
i've tried through their lives to give my kids an understanding of their privilege. of explaining to them that they are lucky to live in a nice neighbourhood, and to go to good schools. they have nice clothes and good friends and a supportive extended family around them. they have never had to feel hunger out of need, never had to feel the stress that poverty brings. and all of these things are a matter of chance. the vast majority of the world is not so lucky.
i thought i explained it and i thought they understood. but now and then, one of them will come up with a comment like that, and i feel like i haven't explained it well enough. they will give a portion of their money in charity, they understand about sharing what they have. but they don't identify with people who have to struggle for the basics, and i think this is not a good thing.
i guess what i really want is for them to be more aware, more conscious of all these things. maybe it will come with time. or maybe i need to be taking them to volunteer at the city mission & other such places, because i think this is one of the most important lessons in life and i haven't fulfilled my duty as a parent until they really have learnt it well.