I am a big proponent of looking out for number 1 in life. The reason for this is that only when you and I, each individual, are operating at peak health can we hope to be of best service to others.
These others come in many forms--perhaps family, friends, or those with whom we work or spend time. However, for the purposes of this discussion, I am primarily interested in children. These could be children of our own blood, those we've adopted, those we mentor in some respect, or simply those we encounter in daily life.
Ultimately, whether we live to age 80, 120, 200, or for only another 5 minutes, our time on this planet is counting down. It is the next generation that will then shoulder the responsibilities of life and its inherent spirit of service.
Thus, though I currently have sired no children, I take it as a very real calling to be a strong example to our next generation.
A couple of "for instances" may benefit here:
My family recently hosted extended family at our home for Thanksgiving week. Before they arrived, we covered much of the counters and filled much of the refrigerator with fresh, glowing, colorful produce, more than most typical families might consume in many months.
I am always amazed by the observance of children; they are like little sponges whom little to nothing gets past. I take great pride that at least once in their life, though they made their own dietary choices while they were our guests, they were able to be exposed to a family that lives just a wee bit differently than most.
Another recent incident in which I was grateful to serve a tiny role stemmed from watching a video by Victoria Arnstein. She showed one of her young daughters dancing and singing like nobody was watching, just like all children (indeed, all adults) should. Victoria tongue-and-cheeked that it must be their vegan diet that led to such a lack of energy.
Knowing something about the history of the family's dietary journey, I immediately complimented her on assisting her children to this important compassionate decision. I further encouraged her to post a follow-up video of how she and her kids were able to accomplish this together. I know it's one thing to say "let's be a vegan family" and quite another to actually do it, especially if the children are maturing and making more of their own decisions.
Victoria took me up on my suggestion via the attached video. Listen carefully, and you'll hear a young Miss Charlotte speaking from her heart about her dietary choices. My main point is that this surety on the part of her child did not come about by accident; Victoria and her husband Michael actively chose to educate her and her siblings because they knew that if they didn't, who would? I salute them and any adult who makes the effort to impart truth to a child.
We may and should do our best do our best to foster a compassionate world now, but it is our young Earthlings who will one day carry that mission forward, but only if they are equipped to do so.