Friday, May 11, 2012

Having Compassion

The kids rescued baby birds they found on the ground

I made David cry today during our homeschooling.  Usually he cries out of frustration over his school work--if he gets a math problem wrong and can't figure out why.  If I ask him to write a paper and he can't figure out what to write about.

Today we were reading Henry's Box by Ellen Levine.  It's about a boy, Henry, who is a slave and is taken away from his parents and given to his master's son.  He grows up and marries, has children, only to have his children and wife sold away, too.   The reality of such a horrible practice is not foreign to me so I admit to reading that part without really thinking about how it might impact my kids.  But then I noticed David wiping the tears out of his eyes.  I realized that to David, this was absolutely tragic, horrible, heart rending news.

I know that David is my most compassionate child even if it doesn't look like it based on his outward behavior.  On the outside he is all boy, rough and tough and loud and always on the run.  On the inside, he feels things deeply.  He cried when we watched a movie where the couple found out they couldn't get pregnant.  He cried while watching The Muppet Movie when the Muppets found out they didn't raise enough money to save their theater.  I showed him pictures of my friend's house and neighborhood after a tornado ripped through and leveled some of the houses and he cried (I thought he would find the power of a tornado amazing--Oops).

I love his secret compassionate heart.  I love that a book or movie or picture can make him cry because he feels the pain of someone else.  I love that my girls are always bringing home some animal they found so we can take care of it.  I want my children to be compassionate.  To have their heart break over inhumanity, tragedy, suffering.  Because compassion leads to caring, which leads to action, which leads to change.  When we see an image of a city devastated by a tornado, compassion spurs us into action--to donate money, food, household items.  When we see a family in need of food, compassion spurs us into action--to feed them.  When we see a need, compassion spurs us into action--to fill the need.

Compassion leads to Action which leads to Change

The girls are all bandaged up and feeling much better

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