lesson in empathy

it's cold here in south carolina. i know, i know, it's not as cold as some places.  but when you are not accustomed to temperatures this low, it feels as if your skeletal system may freeze. the school a few blocks away are on a two hour delay. so what did i hear first thing this morning?

 "that's not fair!" 

as i prepared their breakfast of hot oatmeal, while the car was warming in the driveway, my mind went back to our mission trip in the hills of west virginia. a place much colder and much poorer than sumter county. a place where many of the homes are heated using coal. 

i think an early morning lesson in empathy is in order ;)

empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others, feel what they feel, and respond in helpful, compassionate ways. 

i reminded my kids that not everyone owns a winter coat or gloves or scarves. especially in an area that rarely sees temperatures this low. not all children are fortunate enough to ride to school in a heated car.  some kid's exposure to the cold consists of more than making it from the house to the car and from the car to a toasty school.  many children wait at bus stops before the sun is upit's dark!  while many of these kids probably own heavy coats. many of them do not.

i wanted to make my guys stand (for a few minutes) in the freezing cold and pretend to wait for a bus. but we never have a minute to spare in the morning. 

a two hour delay will not allow the temperature to rise all that much. but at least it will daylight.... now tell me what's not fair you spoiled brats in your patagonia jackets ;)  i said this in jest. my guys knew i was kidding. but they also knew i wasn't kidding. let's count our blessings. count them one by one.

my guys weren't meaning to be spoiled brats, they just "didn't get it."  they too wanted to rejoice over an extra two hours of sleep. after my speech, they were all too eager to get to school... early! passing out winter coats along the way ;)

of course there are other safety reasons for a weather delay, like ice on the roads and bus maintenance. the school district i am referring to is one of the largest in the state and the outlying areas are very poor. 

so that's how we started our day. personally, i am on a 72 hour delay. because my skeletal system has frozen before and it's not a pleasant sight ;)

Living Life in the Lowcountry said...

Preach it sister! ;)
How true that our children are so fortunate to not know what it feels like to be really cold, or really hungry! I sometimes, when it is cold in the house, purposely keep the heat down low to make myself a little uncomfortable just as a reminder of how some have to live all the time.

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