Tonight I introduced '7 Up' to my husband. Not the game we played in elementary school or the beverage. He's not that new. It's a documentary series that started in 1961 in England. A famous saying (by someone who's not famous enough for anyone to know his name) was to 'Give me 7 years, and I will give you the man'. The goal was to film children from all walks of life at 7 years old and then record video updates on each of them every 7 years through the year 2000. Some of the kids fall in and out of the series. But talk about an insight into how the things and people around us really do shape us into who we become. There were rich kids, poor kids, city kids, farm kids, and two from an orphanage.
There are so many funny little sayings the kids have and its enlightening to see how they interact with each other. They are all asked the same questions, and then again at each update to see how they change over time (the kids & their responses). Probably the most enlightening moment for me from the original recording was when they were asked their opinion about poor people. The first group of rich kids spoke poorly of the kids from the East End (probably repeating what they heard their parents say before they were shipped to boarding school). But oh from the mouths of babes. Those same girls the rich boys discounted (at 7 years old mind you) talk about how it's important to take care of poor people and how they go door to door to take food to them. Not realizing that all the rest of society would have lumped them into that 'poor' category. And that my friends is an amazing reminder. Riches are more than money. Some of these kids in the series (SPOILER ALERT!) that are from the finest of homes and went to the best of the best schools - end up unhappy. Lonely. Rebellious. I just can't help but dwell on the need to step back every day and to be thankful for where I am. Who I am. What I have. And to then look for opportunities to care for those around me. Not just the poor. But the poor in Spirit. All I could think about was a passage from Philippians.
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4
How often do I get caught up in worrying about what's best for me and trying to align the stars to make it be. Honestly friends, I've put finishing a sewing project and running errands ahead of serving the needs of others. I know it and I'm not proud of it. Tonight was an opportunity that I needed to really reflect on what's important in life. All I wanted to do was watch a mindless show and zone out for the night. But God spoke to my heart tonight using this 50 year old film to change my perspective. I'm not trying to say that we should be constantly self-sacrificing to the detriment of our family or personal sanity. But let's take Jesus as an example. He was the ultimate servant - that was His day in and day out. His whole existence on this Earth was to serve us through the sacrifice of His life for our sins. His day to day was nothing but serving others in every manner of ways. The word servant has such a negative rap. And I think it deserves a makeover. Serving others by meeting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs shows love to our neighbors. And it impacts our own hearts in a powerful way. This series really impacted on me how much kids pick up from their parents. WIthout a doubt, I want to be able to be a parent (someday) whose children place value on serving others. Isn't it amazing how the most seemingly insignificant moments in our lives can change us forever?
On a totally random and lighter note (yet still related) - have you watched the BBC series 'Call the Midwife'? I missed them on PBS, so naturally I bought the first two seasons and am almost done with Season 2! The hubs and I have a trip to London on the books, and my travel planning has me enamored by the people and culture of the East End in the 50's (aka same era as the 7 Up series). I'm addicted to the show and it's filling a great void left by Downton Abbey...at least until January. Should we discuss? Have you seen it?