Think of the plays, operas, musicals, movies, and television shows that have struck an emotional chord with you. Chances are these favorites helped you feel the pain of another person’s tragedy firsthand, a need so fundamental to our human wiring that we dedicate a large share of time and money to meeting it.

The playwrights of Classical Athens should indeed be credited with inventing well-written dramas expertly performed in the world’s first theaters. Their finest contribution was to encourage us to stand outside our own circumstances and see life through the eyes of others. This seems to be pretty good advice since Jesus called all of us to see life through His eyes so that we can be filled with the same compassion He feels. Ephesians 5:1-2(NIV) says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Amy Barr is a homeschool mother of three and a full-time instructor of other home-educated students as co-founder of The Lukeion Project. As an archaeologist, she spent more than a decade excavating sites throughout the Mediterranean and teaching Classics at the college level. Now she and her husband, Regan Barr, offer their expertise through live online workshops and college preparatory high school courses about the Classical world, Latin, and Greek. The two of them lead annual family tours to the Mediterranean and invite you to join them for a tour of the best sites in Greece, May 2012.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at  or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Publication date: January 25, 2013