I attended a wonderful lecture this week by a well-known children's psychologist named Dr. Michele Borba, who reports for Dateline, the Today Show, Anderson Cooper, and many more. The lecture was entitled "Strategies for Raising Successful, Self-Reliant, Less-Stressed Kids". In it, she listed 8 important traits that lead to the most overall success in kids (in leading happy lives). One of the most important, she said, was empathy.
So I was in my local Joann store today, picking up some yarn to make scarves for the shop, and I heard a voice somewhere behind me ask the sales gal "do you have feathers?". As I was concentrating on my project, I went about my happy browsing, and eventually ended up in the (long) checkout line. There was a young mom in front of me in line, with a 3yr-old-ish boy and holding a 1 yr-old-ish girl. The boy was flitting here and there, and eventually slipped and had a really nasty fall where he banged his head into the metal racks of candy. Of course, the little boy started crying really hard and his mom did a very sweet and thorough job in checking him over. As I was watching all of this, a little girl who was about 5 years old and full of big, curly blonde hair, came from the front of the line (without any prodding from her parents) and stood in front of the boy with a big, beautiful feather. She held it out to him and said "I tried to find the biggest one". He paused, looked at her, and gently took the feather, while saying "thank you" in between sniffles.
I think that little girl (and her family) has it right.
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