If you’ve read my blog for a while, you might remember last year’s Compassion blog month. Well, this year it’s back, and our first challenge is to write to our childhood self. So, what would I say to me 25 years ago?
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You’re probably sitting on the floor right now, in between the bed and the radiator, where you do all your thinking. You spend a lot of time there by yourself, pretending you’re not really you at all, but you’re Australian and your name’s Charlene. Well, let’s think about something different for a minute …
Let’s think about school. Maybe you don’t like school that much, but you do like being given something to do, and the feeling that you’ve done a really good job at the end! That’s right isn’t it? But there’s a little problem. Not many people can see it, but your favourite teacher can. She sees you narrating in the school play, talking really posh because you know your mummy likes you to speak properly, and she saw you the other day when you handed her those pieces of paper. “I’ve written four pages!” She told you to stop showing off because she knew that if you let yourself, you could become proud, unkind to other people, and not a very nice person.
You see, you can do a lot, and you can feel good when people notice what you’ve done, but the most important things are the ones you do when nobody’s looking. I say ‘When nobody’s looking’, but really there is someone looking. God is always looking at you, and He likes the inside of us more than the outside. When He sees you being really kind, really taking care of somebody else, just doing things quietly even when people don’t see, then He’ll be happy because He knows what’s really important.
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Did you manage to stay awake to the end of that one? Maybe you’re wondering what the point is of writing to your childhood self. It’s not as if you can turn the clock back and teach yourself a lesson – well, no, you can’t … but maybe you can teach another child. If you sponsor through Compassion, it’ll take time to build a relationship with your child. Not every sponsor can talk to their child in such a personal way, but perhaps in time, you will be able to share some of the lessons you’ve learnt. I know I have.