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Empathy is the basis for true morality. | by aerie.
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Empathy is the basis for true morality.

My daughter is a lifeguard at a local pool during the summer. She rescued this guy from the pool prior to the morning chlorine shock. So tiny, on her fingertip. His expression & eye contact seems to convey a simple 'thanks'. Props on her mad photography skills too.


Trivial, I guess & maybe I'm sentimental b/c she's out of my motherly reach now. Off to college, practically grown. Maybe I think too much or maybe it's just that I pay attention so as not to waste this life by trying to store up my treasures for a fairytale heaven. As an atheist mom, I'm quite pleased to see that she makes the effort to do such things. It's a tiny glimpse of her quiet goodness & gentle character that I normally wouldn't get except that it inspired her to snap a pic. It's reassuring to see my children showing empathy to even the most insignificant creatures among us. Isn't that really the test? When we show compassion & do what 's right even when no one is looking? No heaven, no god. Just her & a frog.


Maybe childbirth shook something loose in my head, but the births of my children were the first sparks of reality for me. When I became a parent, I realized that my 'heavenly father' sucked as a parent. Not cool for a god who demanded my complete adoration. I continued the lies & my cognitive dissonance for many more years b/c the notion of an eternal, fiery hell is crippling to rational thought & a very effective motivator.


I'm sure the religio-nutters would call me a 'hippie tree-hugger', preach the Old Testament & spew their bigot-filled hate about abominations, baby murder, the need for war & the "ruination of this great country by the evil left-wing liberals" but I'm glad to be free of that bondage.


So no, it's not like she saved a baby from a burning building, it's but a minuscule gesture in the grand scheme of the universe. But I truly appreciate the simple, honesty of life & my daughter's small act of kindness to a lowly frog makes me proud.

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Taken on August 21, 2010