Compassionately Human

Around this time of year I always find myself feeling sorry for those less fortunate than I. It is uplifting and fulfilling for me to give rather than receive. Using the warmth of my heart I can warm the heart of others. This was best expressed by the Dalai Lama as “love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

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The economy, drugs, and other issues plague humanity today. Many live in darkness and are in need of light. How can we remain human in a world that often feels inhumane? There are so many troubled people that we tend to become desensitized. Maybe it is easier to practice selfishness? Sometimes we need to take the time to remember that being compassionate keeps us human.

Merriam-Webster defines compassion as a “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” It isn’t always possible to understand the distress of a fellow human, but I feel better when I try. It isn’t always possible to help those in need, but I like to try. I would offer my help to the poor or to the rich if there was something they needed which I could give selflessly.

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•This is a photo I took at the store the other day. My heart broke when I saw a car seat in the window. I wanted to stay and offer help, but I didn't. I should have.•

Like I said…I always feel sorry for those less fortunate than I this time of year. Though I do have a good, personal reason to fear the homeless, I can not hold the acts of one woman against all of those in need. I practice being kind and compassionate. In November of last year I wrote about giving from the heart. ~A Rough Diamond~ was about a young, cold homeless woman, and ~Giving a Sparkle~ was about a Salvation Army bell ringer.

Fall always draws the cold and weary to warmth. Today there was a homeless man that needed help. He seemed harmless. Several of us felt sorry for him when we realized he had slept in the open cold last night. He was using plastic bags as insulation. He had lost his winter hat. A friend told me he looked like he was going to cry when she was talking to him. I started thinking what if that was me? What if I was homeless? It could happen to any of us.

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Several of the women I know extended a hand to the man who seemed sad and lost. Someone offered him a blanket. A friend went with me to buy him another hat to keep warm. I also bought him a scarf and a metal water bottle. When we took these items to the man I told him someone had left these things for him. In a quite, gentle voice he gave thanks. These small acts can give him nothing more than hope. Maybe sometimes hope is all we need?

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