In an isolated society known as The Community, a culture of "sameness" is embraced. Pain and suffering have been eradicated from daily life, along with any notion of individuality or choice. Members of the Community lead a seemingly perfect existence, unburdened by the harsh realities of the "real" world. A lone man among them has been designated to retain all memories of the way life once was. Now the time has come for that man to pass his knowledge to another.
Growing up in a loving and affectionate household teaches children the plainness of giving and receiving genuine love. However, there are many who resist showing love for others – and it's not done on purpose. In many instances, people come from a background in which little to no love was shown or spoken of. Some parents took for granted their child knew he was loved so there was no need to say "I love you" or show a sign of affection.
In the new movie, "The Giver", the main character Jonas has a startling and disturbing revelation when he discovers that his family and community are void of love — something he both desires and longs to give to others. He realizes what has been lost from having something so beautiful, and so precious, taken away from them. Their lives are essentially empty. They have no meaning. The story is an incredible example of what happens when people aren't taught the basic principles of showing love to one another.
It is so important to put love at the center of your family. Lack of love and affection deprives others from feeling wanted and appreciated. Therefore, teach your children how effortless it is to love others by showing them the following:
Hug your loved ones as often as you can. For example, if a family member or friend is in a gloomy mood, give him a hug. Oftentimes, a hug can lift a person's spirit and it tells that person you sympathize. Give your spouse a sweet kiss on the lips when heading out to or back home from work or hold hands during a family night out.
Saying I love you
Tell your children and spouse those magical words when you feel the need. Don't wait for an occasion. Tell them before going to bed or before leaving the house. There's nothing wrong with expressing to your loved ones how much they mean to you.
When someone does something for you, whether it's a minor or major deed, it's important to give thanks. Giving thanks is not only a sign of respect but also a sign of appreciation. Don't you feel good when someone gives you thanks for helping them with something? Moreover, not interrupting someone when talking or ridiculing someone's opinion is another form of respect.
Even if your loved one comes up with an idea you strongly dislike, support him anyway. For example, your child wants to start a small business venture with his friends. You're not optimistic about the idea, but you want him to know he can count on you no matter what. So, you cheer him on hoping for the best.
Being kind to someone takes no work. It is as simple as opening and holding the door for someone. Surprising a friend or a loved one with a gift just because you felt like doing something nice and spontaneous.
When you raise your child in a loving, caring and welcoming environment, they will grow up having nothing but love in their heart.
Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.