“Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy for you too.”
-Author Fredrick Buechener
Choosing to have compassion means that possibly you will hurt more, but the love and joy will be doubled as the other person overcomes his or her struggle and comes into freedom.
For example, this week in my snowy neighborhood, I got stuck trying to get into a parking spot. Then I noticed a guy behind me had gotten stuck in the road and blocked the road. Spinning my wheels wasn’t going to get me out of the snow, so I got out, grabbed my snow shovel and walked back to help that guy. Some other guys got out too to help. They ended up helping me get my car unstuck (and the other guy got unstuck as well). Choosing to not just focus on yourself and have compassion on others results in their needs getting met as well as yours. I’m learning to choose compassion more and more often–it enriches my life and being outward focused is a much more fulfilling way to live.
Today, choose to feel compassion: For that neighbor whose music is driving you to want to throw your spaghetti on her head or for people putting cones out to save their parking spots (but blocking them from other people wanting to use them). Choose to walk in their snow boots for a little while and that will help you relax.
By M. H. Campbell