Lessons about mateship from a 7yo

This Sunday it is Father’s Day. When collecting my two youngest sons from school yesterday, my seven-year-old son, affectionately known as ‘D-Man’, was covering a paper bag with a drawing he had just completed in class.

“Dad, you can’t see what’s inside the bag because it has the presents I bought for you from the Father’s Day Stall.”

 “Okay, don’t worry I promise I won’t look.” I said.

He then went on to say, “Dad, when we get home, can you give me ten dollars?

Gary Ryan“Why?” I asked.

“Well, I wasn’t sure that the A-Man (D-Man’s best friend) would remember to bring any money for the Father’s Day Stall and I didn’t want him to miss out on buying a gift for his Dad, so I thought I’d bring some money for him, just in case. And I was right. He did forget to bring some money, so I gave him ten dollars.”

 “Oh, I see.” I replied.

Other parents heard the D-Man telling his story and began chuckling to themselves. They could see that somehow, I had become The Bank.

Lessons about finances aside, the D-Man’s behaviour was a terrific example about what ‘looking out for your mate’ means. When getting ready for school he had thought to himself that there was a good chance his friend would forget to bring some money (because he had forgotten in the past), so he thought he’d be prepared to help him out if necessary.

He had also thought to himself that if he did need to lend some of his money to the A-Man, then Dad, being me, would refund him his ten dollars! (Yes, I was chuckling to myself too)

A certain way to look out for a mate is to be aware of what they may need or require before they need or require it.

When was the last time you looked out for a mate? Was it at work, in a social setting or maybe it related to sport or a community organisation?

Mateship is something that has held a special place in the hearts and minds of Australians for a long time and I was delighted to see that my young son already understood what it means to ‘look after a mate’.

It was a good reminder to me to keep my eyes open for opportunities to help my mates, and I hope the D-Man’s actions provides the same reminder for you.

Gary Ryan helps talented professionals, their teams and organisations, move Beyond Being Good®