Compassion

Among the many things we hope that our children learn we hope that they learn compassion.  Let’s face it, humans are very selfish – especially children.  Try explaining to a three year old that they should give the biggest cookie to their friend or that they should offer a hug to someone who is sad.  Depending on their mood they may or may not cooperate. 

My kids love to give away their possessions.  Any time that they have friends come over they want to send them home with something.  I love that about them.  My hubby and I are trying to encourage our kids to think bigger and broader.  It’s hard for them to imagine places where kids don’t have the luxury of a full pantry or an overflowing closet.  They don’t understand that there are places where kids worry about the weather, about the military, about AIDS, about clean water.

Yesterday my hubby was talking to me about the hurricane that was threatening the Gulf Coast.  The Boy overheard us and started asking questions about what a hurricane is and where was it going.  After a few minutes of conversation he said, “I’m sad about the people by the hurricane.”  Wow.  I was surprised that he thought about the people and how they might be affected.  This morning he asked me about the hurricane and could we please look on the computer to see where it landed and if it did any damage.  He was relieved to see that it was downgraded to a tropical storm.  He wanted to watch every news clip that we could find. 

Perhaps disaster relief work will be in his future.  I don’t know.  I’m just glad that in this moment he got it – he had compassion for people far away – people he doesn’t know in a place he’s never been.

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