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Teaching Kids Compassion – Pay It Forward


So, like many of you, this morning, I was making my nearly daily run through the Starbucks drive-thru with two reasonably happy, lucky me boys. I was in a great mood. The holidays are around the corner.

The boys were laughing, and we were headed to see some of our favorite people for OmCulture’s open kids “gym.”

Teaching Kids Compassion

When I rounded the corner to pick up and pay for my delicious mocha, the cashier said my drink had been paid for by the driver ahead of me. Very cool. He also told me that I was the 12th car in a row to do so. So, of course, I then paid for the car behind me.

Teaching Kids Compassion

The best part? Well, my 2.5-year-old paid attention to the whole scene. He asked me about it after we drove off. That was a learning and teaching moment for us. He will grow up to be a kind and generous human being. I know that much. So to start showing him, giving him examples, and having him understand the concept was a defining moment for me.

Okay, so we’re talking about coffee, but something more significant happened. I know, I feel silly even writing it, but I live in Seattle and during rainy winter days feeling close to neighbors is not easy to come by. Today, though, I felt close to my neighbors. I felt their warmth and their support. And it was just a coffee.

A young boy smiling with a backpack on

Imagine the possibilities…

The incident reminded me of when my best friend, Jessie, twin sister, Meg, and I used to pay the toll of the car behind us every so often. We grew up in Maine, there are tolls all over the place for the highways. Just a little something to say, “Hey, I am thinking of you, stranger. have a great day!”

Maybe the person needed it, perhaps not (probably not), but I am betting that the small act of generosity made that person’s day. Sometimes a smile is all it takes…other days, a toll, or a coffee for that matter…

It doesn’t take much to do something for your neighbor and to show your child a little compassion. These kids of ours learn more through modeling behavior than through verbalizing it…So, think about it.

Thanks for reading.


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