Friday, 29 January 2016

The Extra Mile

The rule in our house is that everyone must stay at the table until everyone has finished their meal. This has worked pretty well until recently, when M started to sit on a grown up chair instead of her booster seat. She gets down and wanders. She's only 2 years 2 months, so we give a little leeway, a couple of chances to return, but we've explained that if someone leaves the table, then we presume that they have finished and won't be wanting anything else to eat, including pudding.

Yesterday, she got down from the table and, despite three reminders that if she chose to leave she would be finished and would not be joining us for dessert, she chose to leave the kitchen and was gone for about 10 minutes. The rest of us were just starting to eat our pudding, when she turned up and demanded cake. We explained again that she had chosen to leave the meal, so she was finished. Of course, she cried. We empathised. She was still cross.

A voice piped up from next to me. B told me, "Oh, just let her have some!" The loyalty of sisters! But I explained to her too. She's had the same happen to her before, so she nodded and went back to her cake. But, I should have noticed the funny little smile on her face.

A couple of minutes later, B announced she was finished, leaving half her cake uneaten. We had all finished now, so she left the table, only to return pushing M in front of her.

"Quick! You can eat mine!"

I couldn't stop generosity like that. She was not required to give up half her cake; she chose to.

Law and morality don't always match up. Sometimes following the letter of the law is purely selfish. Sometimes, doing what is right means breaking the rules.

“You know the commandments: “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honour your father and mother.” ‘Teacher,’ he declared, ‘all these I have kept since I was a boy.’ Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”Mark 10:19-21 (NIV UK)

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