Last month, I mentioned that I was joining in 1000 Voices for Compassion, and I said I'd tell you why on February 20th. Well, as I've considered the topic, I've realized that I have too many thoughts on the subject to write only one post about compassion.
My mom taught me from the time I was young to develop compassion, by encouraging me to think beyond myself. Utilizing the age-old technique of asking questions to promote learning, when I was trying to determine how to act in a social situation, my mom would query, "How would you feel [if you were that person]?" Suddenly what I wanted to do had to be viewed through another perspective. How would my actions impact someone? Would I help, or would I harm? She didn't tell me how to act; she would suggest what she might do in a situation, but she encouraged me to figure it out for myself. Her loving methods inspired me to be kind and compassionate.
My mom taught not just in words, but also in actions. Her life has been a never-ending stream of service. She watched a blind baby when the baby's mother needed help. She was there to provide rides to the hospital for a woman whose daughter had been severely burned. She lent an ear to anyone who needed to be heard. She visited lonely widows in nursing homes. She has helped dress deceased women for their funerals. Whenever there is a need, she has been there to meet it. She has baked, cooked, sewed, and prayed for many. She welcomed her mother-in-law into her home. She continues to live a compassionate life, as she assures that the needs of her 98-year-old mother are met.
When life seems tough, home can be a place where we find love, compassion, and warmth. Within our family, we feel reassured that someone understands and cares how we feel. AndI definitely have witnessed and experienced compassion at home, and I hope that I can develop the same level of compassion that I observed.
How have you learned compassion?
I'm thankful for the example of my mom.