When I was a child I was fascinated with books about slavery or WWII…I couldn’t understand how one human being could treat another human being with such cruelty, violence and disregard. I didn’t understand racism or hatred, (I still don’t)…and I wept for the horrific trauma people suffered at the hands of other people.
I was an extremely sensitive child and the human spirit and experience interested me. As a child I used to pretend to be blind. I’d cover my eyes so I really understood what it felt like to count your steps to make sure you didn’t trip over something…or feel where the toothpaste was and if I could put the paste on the brush and properly reach my mouth.
Once I felt like I had a good understanding of what that felt like I’d move on to spend a few days with only one arm…how do you eat, get dressed or tie your shoes if you only have one arm…same with only having use of one leg…how do you climb a tree, kneel down to weed the garden or get upstairs to go to your room?
How did things CHANGE? How did I FEEL?
I chose physical challenges as a child because that was something I could ‘mimic’ and my maturity didn’t understand mental health or emotional challenges.
I believe my depth of empathy and compassion was deeply rooted based on my childhood experiments.
I had an experience last week where I needed COMPASSION and EMPATHY from the person I was speaking to on the other end of the phone. It was a large corporation and I received standard, generalized answers…I was not being heard and felt completely frustrated that the other person couldn’t or wouldn’t tap into the ‘human’ element of our conversation. I got very upset and ended the call abruptly. I was angry, scared and distraught.
This was indeed a large corporation but ultimately it is still an individual on the other end of the phone. It is a person who could put themselves in my shoes and show some COMPASSION. They may not have the power to do anything but they do have the power to offer words of KINDNESS.
The next day I called again and it was a completely different experience. The woman on the other end of the phone clearly had a big heart and perhaps had experienced similar circumstances and therefore understood my situation. She still explained to me the rules of the company but spoke with a kind and gentle heart and that made all the difference. She also made the effort to try to change some things for me and as a result we resolved the situation.
The difference was night and day because one person showed COMPASSION and EMPATHY and the other did not or could not. He has his own life story / perception but what a different result we both would have had that night if he had shown more COMPASSION.
Whether you are in high heels or dirty ripped jeans…whether you make $250,000 per year or $25,000 per year…whether you drink wine at a lovely restaurant or Lysol in the back alley…a human being is a human being.
Practice and teach compassion and empathy and our world will be a very different place.
I would like to express a very special THANK YOU to Natalie and Susan for their KINDNESS, COMPASSION and SUPPORT that day. I am humbled by your kindness, lifted by your helping hand and extremely grateful for your compassion.
PLEASE CHOOSE COMPASSION: Teach it, act upon it, share it and experience how good it feels. One day, you will receive what you have given.
With a smile,