The Compassion of a Child

13 Feb

I try not to let my daughter sit around and watch CNN.  If she happens to be in the room when the evening local news comes on, she’ll walk away, saying “Too much dead and sad!”  But last week she happened to be in the room when CNN aired footage of the women and children starving over in Somalia…and I watched as a small piece of innocence fell away from my child’s heart.  I watched as confusion and worry began to furrow her brow.

In her pure and undiluted mind, babies without food was inconceivable.  I tried to explain it as best as I could.  That some very bad men were keeping the good people from bringing food to feed the mommies and babies.  ”But all they are having is rotten rice!”  I could’ve given her the age-old speech:  You better clean your plate!  See…kids are starving in this world!  But I didn’t think it appropriate.  In five seconds, Cali had formulated a plan that made perfect sense and appeared to be a no-brainer.

“I’ll get a car with wheels that fly instead of roll…and I’ll fly really fast over to that world where those babies and mommies are starving and sick without their food.  Then I’ll hurry up and give them their food and leave very fast so the bad men can’t see me.”

Not once did she say “We should go kill those bad men!”  She just thought of a way to get around them.  This morning on the way to school, she was still talking about getting that flying car put together so she could get that food over there.  “I wish I could fly”, she said.

And I thought to myself…my child DOES fly.  She flies over the heads of cynical and bitter adults consumed with political ideals and mind-sets, religious dogma and self-righteous beliefs.  She doesn’t see all of the obstacles…she sees the way in…then through…then out.  That void left by lost innocence was quickly filled with pure compassion.

I totally see the Peace Corp in this kid’s future.  Either that or a nudist colony.


5 Responses to “The Compassion of a Child”

  1. Stephanie Bennis February 13, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    This is a very touching–and a great reminder of the pure innocence of a child. Their boundless love is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Michael Cargill February 13, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Amusing and adorable story right there.


  3. hillbillyzen13 February 13, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Today’s my birthday, which at this age is sort of a mixed blessing. Your little chicklet’s empathy reminded me of what it was like to be much younger, less cynical and more hopeful. Please give her a tight hug and a big smooch, and tell her an old hillbilly said “Thanks for the birthday present, and keep the faith.”


    • April Trice February 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      Happy Birthday, beautiful!! Hope your day is like a blinding ray of sunshine glaring right in your eyeball!


  4. Hudi February 16, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Needed to read that today.


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