Yesterday, a neighbor of mine had the misfortune of finding that his minivan had quite literally been bisected by a fallen tree. It was certainly the kind of spectacle that leaves you, mouth agape, staring in awe and hardly accepting what you are seeing as reality. But, as I walked by, another thought occurred to me. How much would a five-year-old boy like to see a car that had been smashed in two?
I threw open my front door and excitedly told my family to come and have a look. They leisurely strolled down the street as I, several steps ahead of them, called for them to hurry. Once we reached the scene, The Wife snapped a few pictures and The Boy had the same look on his face that I had experienced a few moments earlier. I asked, "What do you think, bud?" He replied, "This is awful!" accompanied by a genuine look of concern.
I was completely ashamed of myself. Here I was, after nearly thirty years on this earth, viewing the tragedy of one family, as a form of entertainment for mine. And, The Boy, with just over five years on this earth, demonstrated the appropriate reaction. Compassion.