The Wonders of the Human Spirit: Two Four-Year-Old Girls Awaken Compassion in Their Families

Wang Yu

PureInsight | October 27, 2003

[] What do you think gets the attention of a four-year-old girl? Puppies? Kittens? Candy? Cookies? Toys? Elves in fairy tales?

A four-year-old little girl named Xiao Ci lives next door to me. One day, she refused to eat a bowl of soup that her kindergarten teacher gave her. The soup was made of baby fish. She saw all these little fish staring at her with their big eyes. "All these baby fish should play with their parents in the sea. How can they all end up in my bowl?" She exclaimed. The distressed eyes of those little fish deeply upset her little heart. Xiao Ci didn't cry. She just quietly pushed away the bowl.

It seems to appear that from that point on she had made a secret promise in her little heart. Xiao Ci laughed and played as usual, but became a picky eater. Nobody noticed the change until one day at a McDonald's restaurant Xiao Ci's aunt noticed that, unlike her usual choices of food, Xiao Ci only ordered a salad and french fries. At her grandmother's home Xiao Ci refused to eat ribs and fried fish, which were formerly her favorite dishes. Concerned for Xiao Ci, her grandmother exclaimed, "Who asked her to be a vegetarian? How could a little child like her become a vegetarian?" Although all the adults kept asking Xiao Ci the reason why, she never explained herself.

One day, Xiao Ci's mother found a book in her child's little backpack. The book was about protecting lives, so she took the opportunity to ask Xiao Ci why she had decided to become a vegetarian. It was then that Xiao Ci told her mother about how she had looked into the eyes of those little fish in her bowl of soup. With her own eyes Xiao Ci had seen the struggle for life of those little fish.

There is another child who sees the misery in the human world. She's a four-year-old girl named Kathy and lives in the United States.

Once when Kathy saw Ethiopian children on TV gazing upon her with their helpless eyes, she couldn't eat the chicken on her plate. Kathy told her grandmother, "I want to give my chicken to them."

Her grandmother told her, "Silly child! Ethiopia is so far away that the chicken would spoil by the time it got delivered there."

"Then, are there any children in our neighborhood that don't have enough food?" Kathy asked.

"I suppose so," her grandmother replied.

"Then why don't we give the chicken to them?" The eyes of starving children on TV brought out the compassion in four-year-old Kathy. As a result, The Kathy Johnson Foundation was established to stop poverty around the world.

What do four-year-old children see? In contrast to us adults who are preoccupied with this earthly world, whose hearts have become numb, and whose eyes have become blinded to suffering, children see with honest, compassionate eyes. They often help bring us back to our true selves and help restore the innocence and purity that we lost a long time ago.

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