My #1000speak post, about an experience I had a year ago, reminded me how many times I’ve brought my children to homeless shelters, safehouses, schools, and libraries to donate clothing, toiletries, and books. What, if anything, had they learned from this?
I decided to ask them what compassion meant.
Neither one of them could answer me. They shifted in their seats and looked at the wall and floor with their I-don’t-know-the-answer faces.
Gah! Really? “Think about it.”
My 10-yr-old said, “Uh…love?”
My 8-yr-old said, “Friendship. I think it’s how you feel about a friend.”
I asked them for an example of something compassionate.
My 10-yr-old said, “Helping someone with a math problem if they can’t do it.”
My 8-yr-old answered, “Giving someone a stuffed animal if they’re sick so they feel better.”
They started sharing ideas: donating to homeless shelters, hugging someone if they’re sad, bringing an animal to the vet if it’s hurt…
Both my kids struggled to define the word compassion, but they know how to be compassionate people.
My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.