This weekend my son and I were working in the yard when we uncovered a massive root that appeared to grow between the bricks of our planter and under the back section of the patio. We were both surprised at how big it was as it snaked its way through layers of brick and concrete, Jameson was sure the root had to get smaller as it went on below the concrete. So we kept digging, and in fact, it was just as big.
I explained to him that at one point it was tiny, and that allowed it to spread out and grow in all directions making its way through the cracks and crevices. Once there, it grew and expanded pushing everything else aside. By starting small it grew along a path, becoming quite destructive.
It was a perfect opportunity for us to talk about how anger and hatred grow similarly in our hearts. It starts small and subtle, but it stretches out in all directions and if left unchecked it will only increase and cause great destruction.
We went on in our work discussing the importance of keeping short accounts; that is to say, the importance of talking often and honestly when someone hurts or upsets us. Not allowing destructive bitterness or anger to grow.
I love my son and want the very best for him, and I know life will give him a lot of difficult times and broken relationships. And it is important for him to learn, for us all to remember that it is never about avoiding pain. But rather dealing with it as it comes, quickly — and never alone.