Talk about teaching your son to be compassionate, my friend said recently.
But we don't teach him anything, I replied. We just ... do it.
Well, then talk about that.
That conversation was a few weeks ago, but I never did think of what to say along the lines of "How to teach kindness to kids" or "Nurturing a Nurturer" (the working title I'd made up in my head). I still don't know. I guess that's why I can't blog about it. We really don't talk about it. We just DO it. My son rescues every trapped critter he encounters. He takes it personally if someone is mean to someone ELSE at school. He cries at the news, sometimes.
I just wrote a story (not out yet) about a guy who just up and did, and then did some more, and then he went further still, and was upset he couldn't do more. He didn't really think about it. Didn't talk about it. Certainly didn't blog about it sanctimoniously. Just did it. He probably wouldn't even recognize himself in that description other than that it was me who interviewed him. That's how little he deliberates.
My job is writing, so I guess telling and talking IS part of what I do, but I'm afraid that's all I have to offer on how to teach kindness. Be kind. Be there.
I have other stuff coming, but that's more important, even if it's been said before and even if I can't say it eloquently. Be there.