Compassion is an attribute I am passionate about encouraging in my children. You can possess intelligence, determination, strength, you name it, but if you have all those without empathy for your fellow travelers in this life, in my opinion, your successes are likely to be hollow.
That’s why, when I saw this video, my first thought was, “I want to know Thomas’ mom!” I wanted to find out her role in Thomas’ story about growing out his hair to donate.
Thankfully, Angie, Thomas’ mom, made it easy, and I was able to reach out to her through social media, and she was, not surprisingly, kind enough to answer the questions I had when watching the video.
Question 1: “When Thomas first decided to grow his hair, what was your response? Did you support him right away? ‘
Angie: “I was surprised… he was younger, and I knew he was a sensitive child but his empathy surprised me. I supported him right away.”
Question 2: “Did you know he would grow it that long? What did you think?”
Angie: “I didn’t know it would be as long as it was… and the density made it even MORE than we expected. It was a beautiful head of hair.”
Question 3: “Did anyone pick on him for his long hair? If so, how did he react? How did you react?”
Angie: “Nobody at school picked on him at all. He’s a pretty popular kid, has a younger sister and older brother who used to attend his school, so he’s pretty well liked by students and staff.”
Question 4: “How did he react when he found out that Kyssi passed away? Did he know her personally, or just from the video?”
Angie: “He was sad to hear of her passing, but he wanted to stay the course and donate the hair to someone in need. He didn’t know her at all, just saw a video…but she was the spark that lit the flame.”
Question 5: “Thomas wants to grow his hair to donate it again, are you supportive of that?”
Angie: “I’m very supportive! We have talked to so many different people, my aunt is battling cancer, my sister in law recently lost her battle… her husband as well, a couple years before, my old supervisor/ friend… we all know someone affected by this disease… and if he wants to go another round to donate, then by all means,I’m supporting him! We are very much interested in carrying this on… and helping others… Thomas says it feels good to do something to help somebody else, and I have to say I agree.”
What Angie said resonates richly, she has the vision and heart to see the compassion in her child, and give it momentum and stamina. There’s no magic formula for extraordinary empathy like Thomas’, rather, when her child showed concern for another, she got behind him, and provided the momentum and stamina for his vision. Angie and Thomas show us how do make something ordinary, like hair, into an extraordinary gift, when dedicated with love.