What a little more love and compassion might bring…

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Beams recovered from the wreckage at ground zero after the 9/11 attacks.

12 years ago we witnessed a devastating example of what hated and anger can create.  In the following years I fear we have seen more of the same.  We have seen war, we have seen violence, we have seen hate crimes, we have seen racism, but what seems hard to find are great examples of love and compassion.

While listening to NPR in my car the other day my kids started getting sucked into the conversation being had about chemical weapons and Syria.  I turned it off and guided the conversation to a place that was appropriate for their age and on then onto a more appropriate topic.  I know that bad news grabs our attention and I know that I am guilty of being sucked into it.

But… as we arrive at the anniversary of the horrific events surrounding 9/11/2001 I would like to put something good out in the world.  I would like to share an inspiration of hope that was brought to me by my 8 yo:

8y0: Dad..?

Me: Yes.

8yo: It is pretty rainy outside…

Me: yep…

8yo: I know what I want to do with my birthday money…

Me: Oh yeah what’s that dude?

8yo: I’m going to put it in the homeless people’s cup… they need it for food and stuff… and I think it must be tough to be out in the rain like this.

Me: Wow, that is very generous of you…  Maybe Mom and I can find a charity that helps people who are homeless and you can donate some of your birthday money to them if you like.

8yo: Why don’t I just give it to them, they have the cup and can use it right then?

Me: Well buddy, there is a saying that goes like this: “Give a man a fish and you’ll feed a man for a day, teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” If we give the money right to the homeless person they can probably get some food for that night… but the next night they’ll be in the same situation.  If we help an organization that teaches and provides aid to homeless people than they might be able to get the skills and help they need not to be homeless any more.

8yo: Well you and papa (my wife’s dad) taught me to fish.  Maybe I’ll use my birthday money and buy a fishing pole.  Then I could catch fish all the time to help feed homeless people.

 

What would the world be like if we all had the love and compassion of an 8yo?

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