View From Table 9

September 4, 2007

I Am the Guardian of a Compassionate Soul

Filed under: musings — table9 @ 8:04 am

Lately, I’ve noticed something more and more about my son. He is an unusually compassionate soul.

The first truly ‘standout’ event was at another child’s birthday party about a year ago. One of the other kids was upset because his balloon broke. Our son (then age 4) went up to the crying boy and said “Here, take my balloon. It’s okay.”

I’ve also begun hearing from other parents at his school that their children are coming home with his toys. When they ask why, the children are saying “I asked him, and he gave it to me.” So I asked my son, concerned that maybe he was either A) getting demands for toys (“The Godfather” syndrome in preschool) or B) doing this because he doesn’t think people will like him/be his friend if he doesn’t give them gifts. His answer: “I don’t mind. They are happy.” (age 5).

I mentioned this to one of the teachers at his school, an older woman named Celeste who’s taught for many years. Her answer surprised me. “Oh, my. You’ve got a very rare quality there. Your son is a compassionate soul. At this age, this is not something he’s been taught, it’s just how he is. It’s a gift, means he’s here for something very special.”

I fully expected to have a selfish child I’d need to teach generosity and compassion to.  I never expected the opposite – to teach a generous child not so much selfishness, rather wisdom and judgement.

I’ve seen the first glimmer of this – him saying later he was “just joking” when he gave something he really wanted to another child.  Used that as an example of first, to be sure you really want to give something and second, to make clear that giving is a complete act – can’t take back later because you regret or didn’t think through it.

So, be careful, son.  I’ll do my best to show you wisdom, though it will I suspect take some soul bruising on your part to learn.

At least you won’t be a Republican :).

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