Friday

It's not about you or me. It's about compassion.

I'm going to cut to the chase here and go ahead and say something.

Not everything is about you. And it's not about me either.

This? Just no. 

Whew. It feels good to say that.

Sure, sure, we WANT everything to be about us. But it's not. The simple fact of the matter is that we share this space with 7.125 billion other people (2013). Wow, that's a lot of diversity. Billions of other beliefs, religions, creeds, needs, and wants.

We should really find a way to peacefully COEXIST. But we don't, and we see evidence of that every day.

We certainly see it in the news with genocide and war and racism and religious atrocities. These are on a national and global scale and seem so daunting. How can we change any of that?

The answer is - we can't. 

But we can start by making small changes on a small scale.

I always tell my sons that it is okay to feel angry or sad or impatient or jealous or to feel like you don't like someone. We all have a right to our feelings. 

But what we do with those feelings is our responsibility. 

Think about the lessons we teach our children:

  1. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
  2. Be nice. Play fair. And share.
  3. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. 
  4. Include everyone.
  5. Follow the rules. 
Even as we are teaching these things to our children, we are ignoring them as adults. 
  1. We are being an Internet Troll. 
  2. We are taking credit for something at work that we didn't do. 
  3. We are making racist or homophobic jokes. 
  4. We are looking down at parents who are not raising their kids the way we raise ours. 
  5. We are cutting in line because we are late or only have one item. 
And guess what? Our kids see this. So the cycle never stops. I am not perfect. I do it, too. I am always late and impatient and angry. And I hear my kids mimic what I say and do, and it breaks my heart. Because that is not what my heart wants. My heart wants love and kindness and inclusion and happiness. When my mind and actions are angry, I am sad and lonely. But when my mind is open and helpful, I am happy. One simple action can turn everything around.

And it starts with compassion. 

Sure I'm late, but someone else might be, too. Ugh, this line is so long, but complaining about it isn't making it go faster. It bothers me that people don't vaccinate their kids, but they have reasons for their beliefs just as I do. 

See how it works? 

Walk a mile in their shoes. And instead, do these:
  1. "I'd love to hear why you made that decision." "That's so interesting. Tell me more." "You must be having a hard day. Can I help?"
  2. Let the person behind you with one item or a crying toddler go ahead of you in the checkout line. Instead of taking another trip or another night out, donate your money, time, and resources to someone who really needs them. 
  3. Realize that everyone - despite outward appearances - is fighting some kind of battle. Smile, help, hold the door. Tell them to have a nice day. 
  4. Recognize that there is more than one way of doing anything. Know that we choose the way that is best for us. So do other people. 
  5. Know that rules are made for a reason - usually safety. Everyone has to follow them. Accept that. 
Listen, I am FAR from perfect. I mess up fifteen times a day. But a compassionate person can reel herself back in and recognize what is right and what is wrong. What is going to hurt herself and others and what is going to help everyone. 

It sucks that everything can't be about me, me, me all the time; but that doesn't make people happy. And if people aren't happy . . .umm, well, then no one is happy, right? Sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit of your own happiness to make others happy. And when others are happy, that happiness comes back to you. It's called compassion. 

These? Absolutely!

This post was part of a larger blogger movement called #1000Speak for compassion. We have voices, and we create beautiful words. We want to use them for good. Check out some of the other posts on compassion here. (At the bottom of the post is a little blue box with a frog that says "Click to view and add your links. Click that to see so many other amazing posts on compassion!!)




Have a great day!!







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