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Friday, October 14, 2011

Small Child, Big Heart

Our oldest grandson, at the age of six, became big brother to a set of twins this June, a little boy (he had his heart set on a younger brother) and a baby girl. He has taken a great interest in them and has done a great job helping care for them where he can.

Recently, when they were about 3 1/2 months old, he came to his mother, our youngest, and said, in all seriousness, “Mommy, if we ever get so poor that any of us have to live in an orphanage, let me go. The twins are way too small to have to be away from their mommy and daddy, but I could take care of myself better.”

Needless to say, she was startled by his offer, and they are still wondering where he learned that poor people sometimes have to have their children raised in an orphanage, or why he feared his own family might become that impoverished. His dad, after all, is a neurologist and his mom, until recently, a college teacher. But all of us felt profoundly moved by his unselfish offer.

For me, one of the better evidences for the existence of a good God is that in spite of evil and suffering everywhere in creation, there is also in all of us the capacity to rise above that, and to behave in truly altruistic ways.

Where does that come from? Is there a gene for that? Can it be taught? Or caught?

I hope so. Certainly the world could use a more people with a lot more concern for the common good even when it may not seem to be in their short term self interest.

Out of the mouth of babes.
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