We can all be more compassionate

Published 6:19 pm Friday, December 13, 2019

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In an ever-tumultuous society, it can be challenging to rear compas­sionate children or be compassionate as adults.

There is constant bickering and name calling, as well as a general hatred for anyone who doesn’t agree with one’s mantra and opinions.

Having a 10-year-old is a challenge in itself.

People who have made it out of this stage joke with me all the time that I haven’t seen anything yet. I’m sure they are right.

I’m a firm believer that compas­sion is the basis of morality.

I mean, if you can’t be compas­sionate toward another human being, how are you going to live out the Golden Rule anyway?

Or how can you possibly love your neighbor if you don’t shower them with compassion?

Eleven years ago when I found out I was pregnant with Kenleigh, I had a realization that I was going to be responsible for a little, tiny human, and one day that human would grow up to be a force within our society.

So, I set out—just like most par­ents—to teach her the ropes and invest in her and ensure that she turns out to be a quality human being, not one who is a nuisance to society.

As most parents do from time to time, I wonder if I’m doing a good job; I wonder if she’s even listening to me half of the time, but I have always tried to carve into her mind that being compas­sionate is crucial.

“We have a no-exceptions policy for bullying,” I tell her daily. “We do not make fun of people for being different. We embrace them. We love them. We make them feel wel­come.”

By now, Kenleigh is used to being the new kid on the block; she’s used to being put on the pedestal for students to evaluate whether to be friends with her or not.

This year, there’s a student in her class who has some medical issues that prohibit her from walking with­out the aid of a walker.

That means she needs some help with basic things like someone hold­ing her walker in the restroom or someone getting her tray at lunch and then taking it to the receptacle afterward.

So, Kenleigh helps her. It may seem like nothing much, but I’ve seen such as change in my kid.

She’s super passionate about ensur­ing that her friend gets the proper help she needs.

She’s taken special care to know that her friend likes things a certain way.

A few weeks ago, Kenleigh dropped the walker on her big toe.

Y’all, it made a horribly ugly bruise. I asked her the other day how her toe was feeling.

She said to me, it’s not a big deal, mom; at least she could walk unlike her friend.

Ah, perspective.

Sometimes that’s all it takes for us to find that compassionate part of us.

As adults, I think we let life and circumstances around us make us jaded.

It makes it easier for us to criticize someone who’s hard on their luck because they made a mistake.

It’s easy to forget that we have all had turbulent times in our lives.

It’s also important to remember that most of us had someone who reached out and showed us compas­sion in our trying times—someone who held our “walkers” for us when we were struggling to walk after something knocked us down.

When’s the last time we held up our friends who were struggling to walk?