Weather disasters around the globe, threats and acts of terrorism, wars in the middle East, the threat of nuclear contamination, homelessness and poverty call for our attention. If there has ever been a time for compassion, it is now.
It seems that it’s time to stop complaining about our neighbors, whether they be local or global, and reach out to help those in need and those in pain.
Where do you start? It’s easy to think, “It’s so huge, there’s nothing I can do to help. What can I do?” and, because of its enormity, we dismiss it. I hate to be so cliché but it’s like that elephant—you know the one—the one that we eat one bite at a time (Just who is it that wants to eat an elephant, anyway?).
Compassion is not limited to disaster sites although our hearts are certainly touched and opened by what we see happening. If we can give money or goods, we should. If we can go and have expertise to offer, then we ought to. But if we have given and are down to the bottom of what we can share and if we don’t have skills that are needed right now, then what?
Look around your own neighborhood and see where your compassion can find an outlet. The lady across the street is alone and has been ill. Have you offered to help her in any way? The single mom down the street looks exhausted. Can you take her a casserole some evening so she can give her children dinner and perhaps have a moment for herself? How can you help your neighbor who is on the edge of losing his house? What about the women in the shelter for abused women – can you help them somehow? Have you ever helped out at a homeless shelter? Have you ever visited the elderly in a nursing home Many of them have no remaining family or friends and just need someone to talk to.Do you donate the clothes and household items you no longer need or use to those who need them? Can you take something to a food bank in your town? You can’t do any of these things? Well, then, can you at least smile and say a kind word to the cashier in the grocery store or hold the door for a mother who is struggling to get through it with a stroller?
If you honestly can’t do any of these kinds of things there are still ways you can give your expression to your compassion.
You can pray.
You can visualize restoration, peace, health and healing for those devastated places
You can send positive thoughts where negativity abounds.
If you understand energy, you can send love and healing energies.
The Dalai Lama says, ““Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” Dalai Lama
With a deeper understanding of the concept of “oneness” we know that our attitude of compassion and our acts of compassion, wherever we are and whatever it is, contributes to the good of all.
Simply do what you can.