My two favorite moral commandments as a parent are as follows: As you point one finger at another, notice that three fingers are pointing back at you and Treat others as you would wish them to treat you. Essentially, my own abbreviated versions of the Golden Rule which shows up in Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sufism, and many others. I’m big on empathy (putting oneself in another’s shoes) and on walking my talk, as I’ve mentioned. My kids ensure that I hold true to my word. Integrity is, after all, matching our words with our actions; and moral courage is dependent on personal integrity.
(Not my pregnant belly, I was MUCH bigger!)
I love how raising children awakens us to the responsibility and importance of our every action and choice in life. One of my kids doesn’t want to share the last piece of mango, grabs it before the other has time to notice, the mango slips out of the greedy little fingers, flies into the air, and lands somewhere in the distance now buried in carpet fur. When this happened, my then-six year old son said, “Wow, Mom! You’re right. Karma does sure happen fast!”
It’s a gift when karma happens fast: we actually get to glimpse the ripple effect of our actions. It can sometimes take years to know how an unkind word, a forgotten birthday, some gossip passed along, money never repaid, or a vote not cast affects the lives of countless others. Parenting is karma in-action. It takes moral courage to walk, or waddle, our talk with our kids.