Do Unto Others Whatever You Would Like Them To Do To You

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post sharing our Halloween experience when Cade was in Kindergarten.  We were just talking about that day, and  he remembers every detail, especially the ‘why’ to the reason of what we did.   I love that Cassidy remembers as well.  With our Halloween school party  a day away, I wonder about this boy still.  I asked Cade if we should bring an extra costume, but Cade said this boy wouldn’t be interested because he is getting into trouble and ‘wearing his pants below his butt’. 

I wonder what will become of this precious soul…

I still wave and say a warm hello to this boy every time I see him, and he lights up with a smile when he sees me-although he now holds these new rigid edges and barriers that have been sharpened by life’s incessant waves hitting him hard at too young an age.  He hasn’t been in the same class as Cade since Kindergarten, but I still see him in the halls when I volunteer.  I wonder what will become of him…

I pray for him.

Lets ‘flash’ back to that year, shall we?


My son Cade, had picked out an awesome “Flash” costume to wear in his Kindergarten parade at school… because of course my kid is as fast as they come! I volunteered for the fun celebration, and many of the kids had the cutest costumes and were crazy excited for the party! Except one child. This child was the one kid my son didn’t like very much at all. My son had complained several times throughout the year that this boy had called him all sorts of names and was mean. As the kids and I often do, our discussion of kids who are mean turns into how they must be hurting. I try to guide them in understanding the background behind the mean. It never excuses the mean, just explains it.

So here we are in the classroom, all the kids scurrying around taking turns to go into the bathroom and put their costumes on! The excitement is brewing and the energy is high…except for this one child. He is mad. This little boy, dressed in the same dirty clothes as the day before, crust around his nose and a stench of days of dirt…didn’t have a costume. As we march through the school and out around the building displaying the elaborate costumes  for all the endearing parents to see, I catch up with this boy, and ask why he didn’t have a costume. He vents, “I wanted one SO BADLY but my mama wouldn’t listen and she never got me one.”

I was convicted.

I hugged the poor little boy and said how sorry I was. At the end of the party, I approached my son to share this news with him. I offered an idea, one that he surely would not easily accept. I challenged my sweet boy to give beyond measure. I asked him to give his beloved costume to the boy who is mean to him. He resisted as any five year old would…but then he grew warmer…as it resonated with him…that this poor kid didn’t have parents who cared enough to buy him a costume on Halloween…or perhaps didn’t have the money to buy him one. 

This sad boy…who was angry at the world he was living in… went without.

My son has several costumes to choose from, I knew the “Flash” costume was his favorite, but I had bought some new costumes on clearance last year that he clearly liked too.  I suggested he could wear one of those that evening Trick or Treating and give his Flash costume to the boy.    He agreed.   God bless this child.

As all the kids were frantically packing up their backpacks with a sugar induced frenzy at the end of the fun-filled day, I approached the teacher and asked permission to slip Cade’s costume into the boy’s backpack. I wrote a note to go in there with it that attempted to soften the pride with which this may be received. Cade and I approached the mean boy and told him he now had a costume for the night.

This sad little boy lit up with a big grin and said “wow!”  He kept looking at me, while waiting in the bus line- I believe he doubted the gift and the goodness from which it came.  Perhaps he didn’t quite know what to make of this new and rare feeling of gratitude.  I’m guessing he didn’t trust the gift or the gratitude.

But I did.  And I tried to confirm that message with my nodding smile each time he looked over at me.

And from that moment on, this little angry boy became this endearing child in need. My son saw the transformation. And best of all, my son learned that if we love the ones that are angry and without… although difficult…it feels good and right and good again.

And I believe Cade was just fine with his alternative costume!

Do Unto Others










We decided to take this on as a tradition every year at our school. The next year, I sent my daughter off to school with TWO costumes. One for any kid without a costume, and my daughter would wear the other. In the car we talked about what a great idea this is and how we should do it every year. I reminded Cade of the previous year’s generous act and how that was such a great gift to this boy. It was now Cassidy’s turn to bless someone!

“Lets do this every year you guys! Wouldn’t that be a neat tradition?”

“Yeah- I like doing things like that.”

“We’re Carters…that’s what we do.”

Do unto others whatever you would like them to do to you…

Cassidy found the perfect recipient for her costume.


“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Mathew 7:12

Do you have an extra costume?  Or the means to buy one?  Why don’t you join our tradition too?


This post is happily linked up to the Shine Blog Hop, Thoughtful Thursdays, and Equipping Godly Women!

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    • says

      That is my prayer always, Becky!! I want to teach them about compassion, empathy and giving always!! Thanks for reading this, my friend!! Praying the conference blesses many!!! Can’t WAIT to hear all about it!

  1. says

    I love y’alls tradition!!!
    Thankfully we are done with the need for costumes at school but what a great idea.
    And, you are so right – if more people had the same idea this world would be so much nicer!!

    • says

      Thank you so much Michelle!!! I love that this touched your heart!! It touches mine every single year… with each new child that gets a costume!! 🙂

  2. says

    What a beautiful story and tradition. Our elementary school just emailed us this quote today and I believe it applies here: “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce.
    If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

  3. says

    Ohhhhh I adore your “way”. How wonderful that at such a young age you taught your kids what empathy really was about. Not the costume but the act of doing. I do hope that young boy is in a better place today and every day after.

    • says

      Thanks so much Kerri!! I am seeing the joy of giving in my kids, and oh, how I love that!! Empathy- compassion- giving. Three traits I will always strive to teach my kids. <3

    • says

      Thanks Bev!! We all really enjoy doing this… and I can’t even describe the joy I see on these kids’ faces when they realize they DO have a costume after all!!

  4. says

    Aww, Chris, I just finished writing about my experience with Emma’s field trip yesterday and reading this totally made me even more weepy. Just beautiful and can’t thank you enough for sharing. Hugs 🙂

    • says

      It’s amazing how a mama’s heart gets so emotional, isn’t it? Oh yes… I am really in that ‘mode’ right now. Here’s to our precious children, my friend!!

    • says

      Thanks so much my friend!! It is just one small but significant way to make a difference in a kid’s life for that day. I absolutely LOVE what it does to their spirit when they realize they WILL belong. They WILL enjoy and embrace this special celebration too. Oh the JOY!!

  5. says

    Oh bless. I don’t really have words for how much I love this. This is what I’m trying to teach my boys…to be aware of the world around you…be aware of the hurt going on in others and is there anything we can do to ease it. It’s a hard, life long, lesson to learn.

    • says

      So true Michellette!! I think it’s so important we challenge our kiddos to stretch beyond themselves and learn what compassion and empathy and giving are all about…

      Thanks for reading our story!!

  6. says

    Now I want to be a Carter and do this too! What a blessing you guys are! Love love love this! And my heart aches for that “mean” boy. I hope somebody gives him a tight tight hug today! And everyday!

    • says

      Me too, Jhanis!! Me too…

      Thanks so much for you heart in this, my friend!! It’s truly a wonderful little mission we have taken on. It brings us so much JOY!!

  7. says

    Ahh, I love Cade and Cassidy! And YOU! What wonderful children. Is Cade already betrothed to another or can I put Scarlet’s name in there? (what is wrong with me, seriously?)

    • says

      Girl… get in LINE!! LOLOL But this mama has SCARLET standing in that line first for him. We will manipulate things just so… someday!! (Can you imagine? OUR FAMILIES UNITED!!!!) 🙂

  8. says

    Hi Chris! I love that line “We’re Carters and that’s what we do.”
    What a legacy of love and mercy! I don’t know who to be most proud of, your son, daughter, or you.
    This is a lovely post!

    • says

      DO IT!! I had a teacher friend of mine tell me I would be her favorite mother just because it helps the kids who feel neglected and isolated feel like they DO belong after all. It’s such a beautiful small significance in their lives, and in ours!!

  9. says

    Oh, Chris, what a sweet angel you have. And what a beautiful mom you are. I love how you parent on purpose and the beautiful souls you are raising. That little boy will always remember your kindness and what your son did for him that day. I just know he will. This was such a beautiful story and such a wonderful reminder in all the ways we can share the love of Christ. It really is just about meeting a hurting soul where they are. xo

    • says

      Thank you so much my beautiful friend!! These small pieces of giving CAN make a difference, and it brings such joy to my heart to see that happen!! Cade was so proud this year too, when two girls sadly without costumes in his class this year- ended up with the perfect costumes to wear! (I was out of boy costumes, so I brought a bunch of Cassidy’s old ones. And wouldn’t you know there were GIRLS that needed them. Oh so DIVINE!!)

      And the small but meaningful tradition lives on… 🙂

  10. says

    OMG, Chris! I LOVE this so much!!! Unfortunately, my kids school doesn’t allow them to dress up in their costumes for Halloween, so it would be harder to do, but we could find a way I know. Even a costume collection at our church and take them all to a school where they could be given out. God bless you and your amazing children. You are all such beautiful, giving people! XOXO

    • says

      Oh thank you so much my sweet friend!! I LOVE your idea! There are always ways to give… this was just one small but significant way. I’m so proud of him and as we were talking about it- he said, “Yeah, that was the best costume ever!” I know sweetie, I know. <3

  11. says

    Oh my goodness, I’m crying. Bless your beautiful and tender heart Chris. I just love how you did this and what you’ve taught your children in the process. This is wonderful.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

    • says

      This year I had two girls without costumes… one looked so defeated as she sunk her head in her arms at her desk, while the other kids frantically scurried to get their costumes on. She was precious- and I knew that I brought Cassidy’s old dance costume for her. She LIT up when I told her she had a costume. Poor thing just forgot hers-

      She looked beautiful- and she told me she was a dancer! Perfect.

      The other girl was a bit more challenging. She wasn’t the other costumes like superwoman or red riding hood- so I ran home minutes before the parade and grabbed “Marilyn Monroe” after ransacking Cassidy’s dress up bin and leaving her floor COVERED in costumes- I FLEW to school and parked illegally in front of the school and raced in to find her in line for the parade. I took her in a classroom for her to change and OUT CAME MARLYN beaming so bright! With a wig and boa and white dress and all! She was adorable- and spunky, and it was perfect. 🙂

    • says

      It’s just such an easy thing to do that really makes a difference – if only for a day. This year I brought a bunch of girl’s costumes (I was out of boys) and the light in those two girls that didn’t have costumes – and then DID… Joy. Pure joy. 🙂

  12. says

    what a beautiful lesson!! We are so blessed that my daughters kindergarten teacher has this kind of heart and always makes sure to bring in extra costumes on the celebration day.
    We recently took this concept a step further in our home by actually inviting the boy with whom my son was having some “issues” with at school to our home. My husband talked to the parents first and explained the situation that was happening, and the very first thing the boy did when he arrived was apologize to my son for the trouble he was causing him at school. And they got along just fine here in our home. Will it become a lasting friendship? Will the boy never, ever slip back into his bullying ways? Probably not – but I hope that they at least gained a measure of understanding that day.

    • says

      It does- and it just this year I had another amazing experience giving costumes to two girls!! My son was truly ‘proud’ to watch it unfold and talked about it several times after. Oh, how it is wonderful to see service being taught and offered and embraced!!!

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