Twice this week my son, the six-year-old love of my life, picked up trash he saw on the street and took care of it. The first time was in the neighborhood surrounding his school. The second was on the street in front of our home.
He didn't make a big deal out of it. It was a wrong that needed to be righted. There was some head shaking and disbelief that anyone would be so careless but that was more about him trying on a new kind of morality than a self-congratulatory, attention seeking endeavor. He's a pretty sensitive kid and has been thinking a lot about actions and consequences lately. And we've been focused on personal responsibility for a while too. But, these are pretty standard things for a child to be figuring out. And, while I'm fairly bursting with pride over him taking it upon himself to pick up after strangers for the betterment of his community, I realize it may just be a phase, and it's not like he's saving the whales or anything...
Except that.... WE ARE WHAT WE DO
Check them out. They are an AMAZING project that encourages small actions in everyday life that, when combined with others' action, equal change, progress, a dent in issues that overwhelm us all.
By the light they shed, I find myself weak in the knees that my son, my boy, did something for the pure good of it, and that matters. His easy action may have planted a seed in anyone who might have seen him. It planted a seed in me, to support him (instead of wincing at that Gatorade bottle being thrown into the back of my car - jeez, who knows where it's been) and see the pure beauty of one little act.
If we are what we do, my son is kind, observant, concerned about his world, thoughtful, generous and giving of himself. Even if it's just a phase, or a developmental curiosity, he is all of these beautiful things because of those acts this week. And he may be some not so beautiful things others weeks because of choices he makes. But all in all, I'm willing to bet on his open heart, and I'm looking with eyes wide open at how terribly much the small, good things, add up.
Instagram treated photo of my son, taken on my iphone this summer