“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” (from Winnie the Pooh by Alan Alexander Milne)
One of the things I love most about good children’s literature is the sense of Empathy it can encourage in kids (warning, I will capitalize A.A. Milne style throughout this post. I can’t help it.). In my experience, children who have read a lot and really gotten to Know some characters have a much better ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes. As Lucy Maude Montgomery puts it so many times in the Anne books, they can Imagine what it would be like to be in another person’s situation. This is actually my Favorite thing about any literature. It is why I get goosebumps on my arms at the mention of Sydney Carton or Severus Snape, characters we were uncomfortable with in the beginning but Loved and Respected in the end. When I think about how beautifully Dickens and Rowling awakened our sense of Empathy for these characters, it brings actual tears to my eyes. (I could go on and on about this, but I’ll Try not to).
Oh how I wish some adults of my acquaintance would read some books that they seem to have missed so they can learn about the Qualities that A.A. Milne found Worthy of capitalisation. Like Consideration. Like Thought for Others. I wish people would take a Moment to Consider how the words they speak will affect Others, how the things they post on Facebook will affect others. I cannot begin to express how much this lack of Empathy Bothers me. Jon calls it my soapbox. Will you indulge my soapbox for a moment longer? Here are the rules we should have Learned as children, the ones we Ought to remember as adults:
Before you judge someone, try to see things from his Point of View.
Think before you speak.
If you can’t say something Nice, don’t say anything at all.
Do unto Others as you would have them do unto you.