People are frustrated by virus restrictions and political warfare. We’re so tied up in knots that some things that we’d normally take in stride become a major offense against us. Like someone not picking up after their dog or giving a handout to a homeless person or having an opinion contrary to our own. So we express it on social media. And the tirades against us for what we’ve said pour into our “comments” section. Which adds to our feelings of unfairness and being personally attacked. In the process, we’ve missed an opportunity to build up the human family, failed to protect its members. Instead, we can try to understand what the poster is feeling, especially since we’re feeling just as frustrated and powerless. We can respond not with attacks but with “I’m sorry this is happening to you” or “I disagree but understand your position.” These are difficult times, times when our responses need to be compassionate and empathetic, not angry, vicious, and dismissive.
Tag Archive for compassion
Here’s a new game for gamers and the rest of us. It’s a game designed to put more than our console-fingers to work. The idea is “to make our communities safer, kinder, more just, and better places to live.” I’m talking about the Compassion Games. Anyone can participate from anywhere.
For details, including how to join a team and play, go to http://compassiongames.org.
Today’s Thursday Thought quote suggests we should remember to treat family as we do others. We tend to nurture friendships and business relationships but take family for granted, knowing that they’re stuck with us. Yet, practicing humility, compassion, respect, courtesy, and love with them is good practice for dealing with others in our often frantic world.
“Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them ‘I am sorry’; ‘forgive me’; ‘please’; ‘thank you,’ and all those loving words you know!” — Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“Gabe”)
Ever spend sleepless nights thinking, “I should/would/could have…” or “I’m so embarrassed” or “She’s right about me” or similar self-criticisms? Sure you have. We all do. But the thoughts go away, so no harm. Right? Not right. There IS harm, not just to our minds but to our bodies, including making us age faster.
I found the article titled Why You Should Stop Being So Hard on Yourself very interesting. Read through it–be sure not to skip the “3 Steps to Self-Compassion” about 2/3 of the way down. Some good ideas there.
And ease up on yourself!
[Thanks to my daughter,Elizabeth O’Donnell, for sending this to me.]
In today’s Thursday Thought quote, George Washington Carver gives some good, even practical, advice:
“Be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, tolerant of the weak, because someday in your life you will be all of these.”
You might think that a British anthropologist who studies animal behavior has her mind somewhere else but in the human world. Not true of Jane Goodall, who is also U.N. Messenger of Peace. Her experiences and studies have led her to the conclusion offered in today’s Thursday Thought:
“WE HAVE SO FAR TO GO TO REALIZE OUR HUMAN POTENTIAL FOR COMPASSION, ALTRUISM, AND LOVE.” — FROM HARVEST FOR HOPE: A GUIDE TO MINDFUL EATING
If you’ve been a reader of this blog for awhile, you know that I believe in the power of the human family when we join together to make this world a better place for all of us. So I’m calling on your help now.
My state (CA) is burning up. We have so many individual wildfires that they’re combining to make larger, more deadly, destructive ones. And hot weather with blustery winds. And a drought, with little or no rain.
People are losing everything they have. They’re learning that they must find someplace else to live until they can rebuild their homes–and that insurance may cover only 10% of the cost. Pets and livestock are lost or consumed by flames. Human lives are lost, both residents and fire-fighters.
What I ask of you is to send the human spirit of compassion and unity into the universe, asking for en end to the fires, adequate quenching and rejuvenating rain, and safety for all involved. If you believe in prayer, do that. Otherwise, send out good vibes, happy thoughts, and poisitive feelings. Expect results.
This isn’t magic, just family ties.
A Thursday Thought from a famous Russian author and philosopher:
“Compassion is the chief law of human existence.”– Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley has published its 2014 “Top 10 Insights from The Science of a Meaningful Life.” For an explanation of each, click on their article cited above. Meanwhile, here’s the list:
- Mindfulness can reduce racial prejudice—and possibly its effects on victims.
- Gratitude makes us smarter in how we spend money.
- It’s possible to teach gratitude to young children, with lasting effects.
- Having more variety in our emotions—positive or negative—can make us happier and healthier.
- Natural selection favors happy people, which is why there are so many of them.
- Activities from positive psychology don’t just make happy people happier—they can also help alleviate suffering.
- People with a “growth mindset” are more likely to overcome barriers to empathy.
- To get people to take action against climate change, talk to them about birds.
- Feelings of well-being might spur extraordinary acts of altruism.
- Extreme altruism is motivated by intuition—our compassionate instincts.
I think there’s a lot to chew on as we finish one year and embark on a brand new one.
Imagine you’re dying of cancer and totally alone, 24/7, except for the doctors who visit to take care of you. Now imagine you’ve been on death row for 34 years because, as a dumb 24-year-old, you thought signing a confession would give you rest from the 3 days of constant questioning you’ve been going through. You didn’t commit the crime–as all the evidence indicates–but you did sign that confession.
This is the plight of a real-life person named Max. Despite the fact that he has very little time to live, evidence that shouts “not guilty,” and a questionable confession coming out of confusion and exhaustion, Texas will not grant him and his family the basic human compassion of being allowed to die at home and with those who are suffering with him.
Sr. Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, explains more about it in Let Max Soffar, an Innocent Man, Die at Home. Read it and watch the video. Then, if you agree, sign her petition on that same site.