Success and Life: What Does Compassion Have to do with Anything? - Forever We
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Success and Life: What Does Compassion Have to do with Anything?

Success and Life: What Does Compassion Have to do with Anything?

Are you a helicopter mom? I have to admit that I have a tendency to be a little controlling, too. I want my kids to do well in school, play sports, and have lots of friends. It’s tempting to nag them about their schoolwork. Sometimes I find myself jealous of neighbor kids who are out practicing ball when my own are inside texting their friends. I want them to be successful–in my time and on my terms.

But deep down, I know that when I try to control them I’m actually robbing them of an opportunity to do the responsible thing all by themselves.

As soon as my kids turned two, I spent most of my waking moments telling them that contrary to what they believed, the world did NOT revolve around them. And then I spent the next ten years showing them exactly the opposite. It’s amazing they’ve turned out okay after all. Despite my worst efforts, something really beautiful began to grow inside my oldest daughter. When she would see another child crying, she would cry too. Strangers became friends over shared boo-boos. The older she got, the more she wanted to help. She began noticing things that weren’t right in the world, and she started asking questions. Lots and lots of questions.

Kids are naturally compassionate. But if we want them to care about others for a lifetime, we have to be intentional about the messages we send them. What do I teach them about the world when I pressure them to perform according to the standards I’ve set for myself?

When I think about all the things that are important to me–embarrassing things like money and success and recognition—and the things I think should be important to my kids–academic achievement, athletic ability, and popularity–I realize that I have it all wrong. Let’s go back and remember. Find two four-year-olds and watch them for a little while. Sure, they might fight over a toy, but usually you’ll see one of them trying to make it “all better.” At the end of the play date, they’ll hug each other and beg to stay together just a little bit longer.

What if the life I’ve always wanted was the oneI held as a child? What if service and compassion were the central tenets of my measure of success?

At ForeverWE, our dolls and books are structured with this very principle in mind. When parents actively engage their children by playing with them they begin to shape their worldview about the issues that really matter. Let’s gather ’round and begin a real conversation that has the potential not only to change the lives of children around the world, but also to change the trajectory of our own.

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