I came across this article, Say Little, about parenting. As a Catechist, I research and try to connect the Old Testament to the New Testament as God revealed himself over time. Aish.com is one of the Jewish web sites that publishes articles from a Jewish perspective. http://www.aish.com/f/p/Say-Little.html
As I got to the middle of the article, I saw the word chessed which means kindness. “Instead of ‘stop fighting’, just say chessed.” It can also mean love. Another spelling of this word is hesed which can be translated mercy. Out of love, we show mercy! There are so many Saints who said this simply and lived it heroically like St. Therese of Liseux.
Hesed also points to the relationship we have with God. It is so difficult to translate from Greek to English. Hesed points to God’s loyalty. Psalm 136 gets translated to his mercy endures forever. It can also mean His faithfulness endures forever. Why? Because He loves us.
Adina Soclof says that if her kids are fighting, instead of, “Will you stop this squabbling already?!” I’ll say, “Shalom bayit (peace in the home).” I remember many times that my husband would say that I was “yelling” again. My method of admonishment was less than effective even if my excuse is utter frustration!
It reminded me about teaching the Ten Commandments. I ask students to turn the “don’ts” into “do’s”. As parents, we often find ourselves saying “no” all the time. In the end, we then try to convince our kids of the “why”. What if we just said one word that pointed out values that we hope to obtain? All of us, need a reminder to be more kind and less sarcastic. Are we following the spirit of the 5th Commandment (Catholic – Thou Shall Not Kill)? Are we killing their spirit or bringing life?
In my quest for hope and peace, I continue to look for ways to make a difference in this life. When my kids were small, I instituted good values as best as I could. Now, as adults or near adults, I hope to leave a legacy of mercy, hope and peace! My greatest gift now is to be the best example I can be. We teach our children how to respond to conflict. Being calm and positive in a moment of chaos can be our greatest legacy. Don’t forget that we should listen and listen again. Shalom!
‘Make me a channel of your peace’! – St. Francis