Friday, March 26, 2010

Compassion

It happened again this week; a child asked about my neck. A couple of months ago I had a spot removed from my neck that left a long, raised scar that is slowly healing and flattening. Several kids have asked about it - kids from my class, kids at the school where I volunteer, kids in the choir where I assist. They each want to know what happened. After I tell them that the doctor had to check something on my neck, they will wince or ask if it hurts.

My reflective self started thinking about this. And I realized that I can learn something from young kids. When they see something that seems wrong or different, they ask about it. Often I'll notice something different about someone--a bandage or a wince or even a sad countenance--and I choose to not ask. For privacy or some other "noble" reason. But I don't ask. My kids never just ignore something. They always ask, even if it seems improper. They ask because they care. Does my not asking convey that I don't care for the other person?

I need the fearlessness of my kids - to ask and to risk showing care for someone else. If nothing else, I've made a connection with someone.

Photo by R. Scott Wiley

5 comments:

  1. Scott, I was just thinking about this the other day. My friends ask because they are curious and because they care. I was just thinking that wouldn't the world be so much simpler if we all played by the same rules? Convention and rules of social interactions just end up complicating everything! Thank for sharing this.

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  2. I agree. The directness, compassion and honesty of children is inspirational.

    That said, don't ask a woman when she's "due," until you're absolutely certain she's pregnant! =)

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  3. I love this reflection Scott. We do tend to withdraw from having open and honest conversations as an adult - age has a way of steeling our sense of confidence when it comes to asking these types of questions. We give children the benefit of the doubt and mark it off as curiosity and learning but as adults, we are not so forgiving if the wrong question is asked so we take the safe way and just keep quiet. Perhaps sometimes we just need to take a risk and inquire more into how others are doing.

    But yes, Tom is right - make sure a woman is pregnant before you ask the due date LOL! Also make sure you know whether a parent is the grandparent or the parent - don't just assume you know:)

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  4. honesty to the core that is what kids are

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  5. Hi Scotts, thanks for visiting my blog. "Salam kenal" (english means : good to know you). Your blog's so awesome. Likes the philosophies. And you are right, kids sometimes are asking me till somehow I can't answer it. They are commenting about us, coz they care. Their comments are our honest reflection in the mirror. We are as adults sometimes not being sensitive to others even to ourselves.

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