The horror in Haiti is unreal. The feeling of powerlessness is overwhelming. The compassion we feel for every one suffering is palpable.

Compassion.

At the very least, perhaps this is a teachable moment to pass along to our children. To honor all those in Haiti, perhaps we can be more compassionate toward our peers.

A friend of mine seized the moment when her sons, ages 9 and 11, asked what could be done for the people of Haiti. They decided to ask for pledges for “silence.” In return for a small donation, they are going to sit in silence for an hour this coming Saturday. Brilliant.

Building on that teachable moment, we can encourage our kids to be silent instead of saying something to a classmate that might be hurtful. In a small way, it may help teach compassion.

Gossip Girls and Boys Get Lessons In Empathy, a New York Times article from last April made me think of all the simple ways we can teach kids empathy. Not expensive but the most valuable.

For all those involved in helping the people of Haiti, thank you. It’s humbling.

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