What these seven-year olds taught me about moving beyond sympathy

Earlier this week I posted some reflections on “thoughts and prayers.”

I’m not against either, but I think we add another word, “Do.”

I just read about three classmates in Northern Ohio who wanted to find a way to help the Hurricane victims. At first, according to their teacher Stephenie Skolosh, they asked the obvious questions.

“What can we do? We’re little. And we’re here, far away from them.”

Stephanie said she “talked about praying for them.”

But the St. Paul Catholic School students kept on probing. The girls decided to put up a lemonade stand to raise money for the victims in Texas. The stand had a sign. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

In one day, they raised $1,000. And there are similar efforts all across the country.

I just love the fearlessness of children.

Hurricane Relief

Think Big

One of the parents said this. “I think that they’re big thinkers, and that’s amazing as parents to see our kids as big thinkers, to be able to help other people.”

So thinking big means thinking beyond who you are – or who you aren’t. It means to not be dissuaded by circumstance or failures. It means not looking at all the barriers.

You might be housebound by sickness or finances or have a children that depend on your presence. You might have a job or a situation that will keep you from getting in a car or on an airplane. But maybe you can find a way to organize a fundraiser, or send a care package, or gather a group of other friends who are similarly bound by situation and resolve to do something.

Keep up with the thoughts and prayers. But maybe we should dive in with action. Because, after all, thinking small never changed the world.

What thoughts do you have about helping victims? Even small, what are you doing?

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