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Lessons in Compassion From a Child's Song

mochadad celebrate

My 5-year-old son can often be heard singing around the house. One of his favorite songs is “Building Others Up.” He learned the song in his preschool class and has made it his mission to share it with as many people as possible.

In the store: “Building, building, building others up…”
In the car: “Building, building, building others up…”
Walking to the park: “Building, building, building others up…”

One day, he held his older siblings captive until they could recite the full song complete with hand motions.

My son not only likes the music, he has also taken the lyrics to heart.

Building, building, building others up
Building, building, building others up
With a kind word or a compliment
A friendly howdy do
We’re building other’s confidence
That’s what we all should do

When his brother and sister are arguing, he is the one who brokers peace by reminding them that they aren’t building each other up.

“Be kind,” he says with a finger wag and they usually comply.

He even practices what he preaches with his friends.

One day, while at the playground, one of his classmates climbed to the top of the play structure and couldn’t get down. She was frightened and crying hysterically. Her mom was frantic because she couldn’t reach her. While all of the other kids ran past the little girl, my son climbed to the top and offered to help her. At first she refused, but she finally relented when she realized that my son wasn’t leaving until she was safe.

My son took her by the hand and led her back to the safety of her mother’s arms. Through her sobs, the little girl managed to say, “X helped me. X helped me. He’s my friend.”

My son’s commitment to building others up has even affected me. His little voice rings in my head when I’m tempted to say or do something unkind. That little song seems to be more powerful than he realizes.

Read more of Fred’s writing at Mocha Dad and Frederick J. Goodall

And don’t miss a post! Follow Fred on Twitter and Facebook.

photo copyright Frederick J. Goodall

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