13 Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13Common English Bible
I chose to start Raising Good People with a chapter on compassion because compassion, love in action, is required for any of the other traits we see in Jesus. Without compassion, you can’t truly live genuinely, make wise choices, accept and extend forgiveness, experience thankfulness, live cooperatively, extend and accept generosity, live honorably, empathize with others, or live with faith and hope for our collective future. Compassion is the foundation of good character.
In his book, I Am Not Your Enemy: Stories to Transform a Divided World, Michael McRay (my sweet and wonderful husband) describes what it takes to dismantle an enemy:
- Get proximate.
- Be curious.
- Be humble.
I would argue this is also how one offers compassion to ourselves and others.
Our children do all of these things naturally. They have to experience everything with every sense. They notice and touch everything. They are curious about things adults no longer pay attention to. They are under no false pretense that they know everything and are open to learning.
Jesus says the kingdom of God belongs to children. I think, I wonder, and I assume, it’s because they are the example of Christ’s compassion in our midst. We must follow our kids’ examples.
Read more in Raising Good People. The intro and chapter one are accessible here for free.