Philosophy, Families, and Kindness


Last week, while reading a history book with my son, we saw a sidebar about Confucius stating that he advocated family loyalty and kindness.

This confused my son. He asked about unkindness within families.

I debated what to say.ThoughtBubble

I don’t put rose-colored glasses on my children. The world is not pink.

However, there is only so much information they need. When one of my boys asks me something, there is a split second where my mind quickly determines how to answer by factoring in his chronological age, his emotional age, and his sensitivity. I go from there.

So, with my 8-yr-old, I simply said, “Some families treat each other badly. They are…not very nice to each other.”

To which he cried and said, “Like if you don’t get a birthday card from your parents? Because that would be awful. Cards are a wish for good things and, I don’t know, it means ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m thinking of you’.”

I stared.

He continued, “So ‘unkind’ like if your father never wrote you a card?”

Yes. Just like that.

Can I bottle this innocent beauty? Just for a few more years…


Handwritten Notes

A typical note for my kids.

If, for my son, not ever receiving a handwritten note is what it means for family to be cruel,
I’m not going to correct him. Not right now.


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


24 thoughts on “Philosophy, Families, and Kindness

    • Will do! I’ll have to get permission from Professor McGonagall, but I think she’ll let me have a time-turner. I’ll work on the calender thing. I believe I can create a stir with the fact that the real calender is a Lunar one… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. How lovely, Sarah. No, he won’t keep that innocence, and nor will you really want him to, but he’ll always have that foundation of a secure loving family that will help him through whatever he has to face out there. Well done you for protecting your kid.

    Liked by 3 people

    • No, I wouldn’t want him to keep it. He can’t stay this way forever. That is at odds with all I want for him and his future. I just want him to hang on to that for a few more years. So sweet. That kind of innocence can never be restored. And a heartfelt thank you for your comment.


  2. You must have done a terrific job of keeping him away from television – or any other popular medium, for that matter. I’m astonished that he’s managed to retain that wonderful innocence to such a ripe old age.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, my 8-yr-old is a sensitive soul. Empathetic from an extraordinarily young age. He is one of the kindest, sweetest people I’ve ever met but that comes with some burdens. His sensitivity can, at times, be unbearable for him and, in turn, for us to watch. It’s not an easy life.
      We keep our kids away from some things, sure, but in general, my little one decides what he deems too upsetting to hear/watch. And I trust his instinct on this. He’ll lose that innocent view of the world soon enough — I’d rather it wait a few years.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. He’ll remember that those hand-written notes are kindness when he’s older. The most spectacular act my full-grown daughter ever did was when I was having a rough time, she slathered my house with hand-written post-it notes. Later, when she was having a rough time adjusting to grad school, I recycled those notes and did the same to her home! And good of you to internally assess your responses and to respond thoughtfully to your sons. That too, is a gift of kindness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember reading that in one of your posts! How unbelievably sweet. I didn’t know you returned the favor when she was in school. I just love this story. 🙂
      Yes, I have to assess my responses as my kids are two incredibly different people — total opposite ends of the spectrum. Thanks, Charli.


  4. Ah Sarah, what a loving heart your son has, developed in a safe, loving and caring family. I’m sure he will never have to feel any less love from his family. As he grows he may see that he is one of the lucky ones; but he doesn’t have to see that yet. I like the way you think about your responses before you give them, tailoring them to the child’s needs. It is good to protect children from the harshness of life, but along with that they also need to develop resilience in order to cope when things don’t quite work out as imagined. Your sons are fortunate to have you for their mother and life guide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Exactly. He will have to see the ugliness, but not just yet. Why push it? I do let them know that others live differently and both my boys know how lucky they are (we donate to homeless shelters, schools, animal shelters, various charities etc.) but this conversation hit me. He doesn’t know how lucky he is in another sense — that some families hurt each other. It’s just not even on his radar.
      Like I mentioned to Charli, I have to think about my responses. Each of my children is so vastly different, with different needs and understandings of the world. Thank you, Norah. ❤ I appreciate your comment and completely love your term "life guide". That is beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Sarah, I love this so much. You make me smile and cry and wrap my heart in a warmth so pure that I wish I could hug you right now…
    Keep all those notes. I came across one a couple of days ago, written by my middle boy, tucked away in a book I’ve had for years (I’ve got them all over the place, even now). On a little scrap of paper it says ‘I love you mommy’ next to a picture of a green dinosaur with an orange flame coming out of its mouth.
    My little boy is 26 now.
    I want to go back to those days so badly so many times but I can’t…but the relationship I have with him and my eldest son and daughter is so loving and strong, that I know it was in those protected moments of innocence and safety so long ago that our adult relationship blossomed and grew. As it is for you now with your boys… Just watch… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • What? Where did my comment go? This is like a year old! And why was I even looking at this old post? Weird…

      Anyway, I remember your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t remember mine. But I’m sure it said something like this: “You are so sweet. I love hearing about this and will definitely keep these notes. As it is, I already find notes from when they were little and it’s so… It takes my breath away how they’ve grown. Thank you.” 💕


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