If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ The Dalai Lama
Recently I’d been feeling a bit “out of sorts.” I couldn’t concentrate on my work, household chores, etc. This is not typical for me.
But I understood, at least partly, why it was happening. We recently had a sudden death in the family. Several close friends and family were enduring difficult, life-changing challenges. Then, just days ago, I found out a good friend had been killed in a tragic accident.
Of course,I know there are no accidents. All challenges are ultimately moving us toward awakening.
But I was still feeling sorry for myself. Almost exactly at the moment I started into that self-pity party, the perfect answer came to me: compassion.
These are certainly interesting times you live in. Others may have more colorful ways of expressing that. 🙂
It can be a challenge when you’re almost constantly bombarded with negative news from all over the planet.
And you can be tempted, as Johnny was, to have a little “self-pity party” (as he put it).
Let that be okay. But as soon as you catch yourself at it, shift to another perspective. The best way to do that is by focusing on the real reason each one of you is here at this time.
That reason is to be of service to humanity—and remember “humanity” includes you.
One quality that appears to be lacking among many humans today is compassion. Of course, it’s not really lacking. It only appears to be if your eyes are always on whatever your choice of technical device is.
If you insist on gluing your eyes to your screens, at least find something that will make you feel good. There’s plenty of “good” news readily available at your fingertips.
And find within your heart some compassion for those suffering from their life challenges. There are plenty of them (human and non-human) all over, wherever you live. Unless you’re a hermit.
This was what Johnny did when he had his little “downer” a few days ago.
You might consider some of the many benefits compassion carries. Here are a few, in no particular order.
- It lowers your blood pressure.
- It gives you a deep sense of oneness with those you focus on.
- It makes you more keenly aware that there’s more to you than what you see in the mirror.
- When you look into a mirror, look deeply into your own eyes. As someone once said, the eyes are the windows of your soul.
- You’ll focus less on your body and more on who you really are—divinity in human form.
- Then the next time you look into the eyes of another—a loved one, a beloved animal, a close friend, even an enemy, you will see only that being’s true essence. And that essence is God, Goddess, divinity—whatever word you prefer.
- Then you will be surrounded by, and filled with, a powerful energy that can literally transform your world.
In short, all this just plain makes you feel good. Then everyone around you will start feeling good. Everyone you think about, even if they’re thousands of miles away, will start to feel good.
That’s the amazing power of compassion.
Copyright © 2018 by John Cali
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In this beautiful song James Twyman gives us many reasons and ways to exercise true compassion. (If you want to follow the song, I’ve included the lyrics below.)
When I am hungry, give me someone that I can feed.
And when I am thirsty, show me someone who needs a drink.
And when I’m cold, give me someone to keep warm.
And when I grieve, give me someone to console.
And when my cross grows too heavy and this weight I cannot bear,
And when I need someone to hold to me, and it seems no one is there
To lighten up my heavy load, give me someone who deserves
To be loved just as I do, give me someone, someone I can serve.
When I need some time, let me sit with one for a while.
And when my heart’s heavy, let me find someone to make a smile.
And when I’m humble, give me someone that I can praise.
And when I need to be looked after, show me someone that I can raise.
And when I need some understanding, show me someone who needs mine.
And when I think of myself only, draw my thoughts to those who are kind.
And when I’m so poor, show me someone who’s in need.
And when my eyes are blind to what is holy,
Let me see the Christ in each one whom I feed.
Let me see the Christ,
Christ in each one whom I feed.
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Thanks John. Happy August! Love, George
You’re most welcome, George. Happy August to you too! Love, John
Yes, dear John and I feel so sorry for people I see in my apartment building and out in the street; people who seem to be immersed in one or another kind of negativity. I am glad when I have an opportunity to cheer someone up, even if it’s just because they feel called upon to congratulate me for my colorful sport coat from India or the colorful stone trinket necklace I bought when I happened to notice it among some jewelry in a local store. Love, George
Thank you very much, George. I suspect you bring much light and joy into the lives of those who might otherwise have little of either. In fact, I know you do, from our many years of our close friendship. Many blessings to you, dear brother. Love, John
July has been a bad month here in Toronto. A young man decided to pick up a gun and start shooting people . An 18 year old young lady and a 10 year old beautiful girl lost their lives. What came out of this is a city that came together showing their love, their respect and their compassion for not only the ones who were hurt but for for everyone. This all happened on a major street that I live off of. My home is a few miles away, so close. I believe we are all capable of compassion, a touch, a smile, a helping hand is one way we show it. I wish the news media would put aside the mikes and just hug those poor people instead of asking questions
John you know my city, we will always show our love and compassion.
love and hugs
Thanks very much, Jeannie.
I do know your city, having lived just a few miles from it for many years. I always found Canadians to be warm and friendly, with much love and compassion.
Love and hugs,
I love that prayer! Thank you.
You’re most welcome!