Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Lesson of Compassion

I believe a more appropriate title for this post would be ''All I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned From A Six Year Old.''

My husband and I have a pretty straight forward approach with our children about the realities of our world.  We do not sugar coat it, we present the facts as they are.  And it has been the case for a long time.  Yes, we live in a world that is not always what we hope it would be.  We make it our duty to remind our children that we have it very easy, and that all that matters is to love and be loved, to have a shelter over our heads to protect us, clothing and food on our table.  I like to thank Life everyday for what it has brought to us.  I remember when I was a little girl, I would watch World Vision on tv and feel a calling: how can I help those poor children?  I did not have the courage to follow my instincts in my late teens and early twenties as pressure to be like others was too grand.  It's only in my thirties that I found the answer to this question, when Life granted me the privilege of being a mother.  Luckily, Michael and I woke up and gradually worked on becoming less and less attached to material stuff: mind you, when your family grows faster than your salary, you sort of have to readjust your way of living.  And I am grateful we did.  Life has a way, a plan.

Our trips to Vietnam have shaped even more who we are now.  Our children love hearing the stories we have to share with them.  They are thirsty for experiencing what we have experienced.  My 3 older sons are especially touched by the homecoming of their little sisters.  They are mature enough to share with us the fact that they felt scared and helpless when they first saw them.  They were scared to see them leave us definitely, and they grew attached to them very quickly.

My six year old little boy is a very tender soul, I would even call him a humanist.  A couple nights ago, as I was doing my ''rounds'' to kiss everyone and tuck everyone in, I heard him as he was sobbing in his bed.  Noah's greatest wish is to see everyone on earth with food, shelter and clothes on.  He was consumed that night with the fact that this is not the case.  ''What can we do?  It hurts me so much inside to know that others like Binh and Phuoc need help.''  It is in our plans to bring all the children to Vietnam to explore those roots that are now part of our family.  Noah knows it and is looking forward to that big trip someday.  ''Maybe I could have a lemonade stand to collect money for the orphans?''  He made me promise we would go to a store in Vietnam and that we would buy food for the Poor.

What do you tell a little boy in front of all that misery, especially when he feels so helpless?  I told him that for now, he was doing a big deed by loving his adopted siblings and welcoming them into the family with such kindness and wide open arms.  I told him to follow his heart, always, because he has a good heart who wants to do a lot to help others.  I told him not to listen to people who tell him he should do otherwise.  I told him to listen to the good voice inside of him, that that voice will guide him into doing great things.  And I know that for a fact.  My son is a good seed of compassion.

I love you my son, and I hope to be the witness of many walking in your footsteps.  You are a grand humanist of your generation.

Many of us, the Grand Adults, should be more like my Little Noah.


  1. Thank you for sharing!!! a lovely soul for sure!!

  2. What a lovely, caring and compassionate little being, wise beyond his years! And I wonder how and why he is like he is . . . You are such an example for him and are teaching your children so many wonderful things. Life is not about the material things yet unfortunately society seems to get caught up in this! I read this on a blog tonight, but forget where: “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” It is by Virginia Satir. I can't wait to give my daughter 12 hugs a day!