A good friend of ours was not having much luck giving away a litter of kittens. Know¬ing I would probably decline her kind offer, she extended the invitation to our four-year-old son Nathan. Nathan of course was excited since he had wanted a pet.” What else could I do but let him have it since the kitten was a “gift” to him?
Nathan loved that cat so much that I even began to enjoy her a little myself. I kind of liked having her around. Then one day Nathan couldn't find his cat any¬where. We looked all over the neighborhood. After several days, my wife was coming home saw his cat on the side of the road--dead. She had apparently been hit by a car.
I told Nathan what had happened and that we needed to pick up her body so we could bury her. He went in and got a small plastic garbage sack and bravely took my hand as we walked down the road in the direction my wife had pointed out. When we found our cat, she was stiff and bloated. Her tongue was hanging out, and her tail was sticking straight up in the air.
Wanting to teach my son a lesson, I said, "It's your cat. You put her in the bag." But she was so stiff, he couldn't do it. I tried to use my foot to help him out a little, but we didn't have much luck. Finally I saw it was no use. The cat was too big and stiff to get into the sack, so Nathan just wrapped the bag around the cat and carried it. It was quite a sight--our small son, carrying a huge, stiff cat, its tail sticking straight out from under the bag.
As we passed by our neighbor's home, Mrs. Cooper waved at us from her yard. She took one look at Nathan's bundle and burst out laughing. I looked down at that big, stiff cat that he loved—which almost seemed as big as he was right then--and almost laughed myself as I envisioned the sight she saw. But then I noticed big tears rolling down Nathan's cheeks.
We finally arrived home and buried the cat in the back¬yard. Several months later, the Coopers moved from our neighborhood. Three years went by, and one day Mrs. Cooper was in town and came by for a visit. He said, "I don't like Mrs. Cooper." "Why not?" I asked. "Because she laughed at me when Miss Mormon got killed." He had remembered that incident vividly for three years.
Having support and empathy are critical in building bonds of friendship and trust. People are usually hurt and often resent those who are not sensitive to their feelings. David O. McKay explains this concept this way: “So live, then, that each day will find you conscious of having willfully made no person unhappy.” (Something Higher than Self, address, Brigham Young University, October 12, 1965.)We should treat people the way we want to be treated if we want to really succeed in life.
• When people are not sympathetic or kind it often causes resentment
• People are usually drawn to you or push you away by how you treat them.
• Those who are kind and compassionate usually have a lot of respect and a lot of friends.
Always be compassionate to other people but especially when they are experiences hard times. People remember how you treat them.