Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Lesson in Compassion

“No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are has meaning.
                                                                - Barbara de Angelis

 A little girl named Rebecca (the name has been changed for privacy) had been born with only half an arm on one side.  She was at the pediatrician’s office when a little boy about her age kept looking at her.  She was two and a half years old.  Noticing her son’s apprehension, his mother remarked, “You don’t have to play with her.”  Rebecca’s mother was very upset by this.  But then Rebecca walked over, put her arm around him and said, “Oh, that’s okay.” 

This little boy’s reaction was likely because another little girl looked different.  He was probably trying to understand why someone his age would be missing a part of her arm.  His mother’s response was because of her own discomfort with another child’s physical condition and led to her insensitive remark. 

However, little Rebecca’s response was a beautiful lesson in compassion.  She too sensed the little boy’s apprehension, but responded with love.  Very young children are able to notice differences based on symmetry, but how they respond depends on their parent’s response.  If this mom had said, “It’s okay, you can go play with her,” this would have been a much different scenario.  Then again, Rebecca’s mom would not have had the opportunity to witness her daughter’s beautiful gift of compassion. 

We were all created from the same source of love and that love forever remains within us.  Children may have special needs, but for their specific purpose in life they are exceptionally-abled.  Every man, woman and child have a place in this world that only they can fill.  Even others deemed less fortunate can give to us more than we could ever give to them.  For some, they only need the right conditions, encouragement and opportunities for the love from within them to shine through. 

Love and blessings,

Kathleen O'Malley, DC

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