Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Great Heart

Can a child have a great heart?

A child can indeed learn great things like justice and compassion and generosity ... and then live a magnificently great-hearted life!

Can we encourage a child's thinking?

Some thoughts:

  • we can explain the basics, but a child will have to grasp and act them out before they're real.
    • a child's attitude about money will be like mom's and dad's. it's learned from example.  that's a tough one, but not set in stone.
    • a child may not be able to relate to the poor or those in need.  it's also learned. that's another tough one.  we don't teach class distinctions usually, but kids learn them from unspoken things.  it can change.
    • a young child's first awareness of injustice may be in abandoned pets or abused animals or some such; it's a legitimate start.
  • you can, of course, just talk a lot about charity and the poor starving people overseas.
    • talking without doing deadens conscience and insulates from reality.
    • talking without doing is the same as walking by on the other side of the street.
  • or you can gather up the family and do something! 
  • Youngest member of a gracious family, east Africa
    • children learn more from what we do than from what we say.  
    • they learn even more if they themselves get to be part of doing it.
    • a child can befriend another in a moment and truly care.  
  • stepping in alongside another because you care is more instructive than a thousand lectures.
  • down the street or across the ocean, unless you help your children see the larger world, they'll think their small part is the norm. It's not, of course.

Friends in a rowdy neighborhood, just minutes from where we work, west Africa

Here are some odds and ends along the same line of thinking ...

Where Children Sleep