Too many times, we are apt to judge others by what we see. When we see worn clothes, unkempt hair, calloused hands, a hobbling gait, a forlorn expression. Those traits so often deceive us from knowing the true person within the shell; behind the mask.
Make no mistake, it is very easy to do, not knowing the past, the experiences, the values or thoughts of an individual. It takes compassion, humility and discipline to prevent a rush to judgment, along with affording others the benefit of the doubt.
“For when we take the time to listen to others without judging them, we open our hearts and minds to the whispers of their past, the truth of their lives, and the authenticity of their being. The lucid story of an individual resonates as a crystal chime when we humble ourselves by reserving judgment, as that defines respect and is noble.”
When we see worn clothes, it may be because this person sacrificed themselves to care for their family’s needs and placed them first.
When we see unkempt hair, it may be a symptom of the worry, frustration, perhaps despair this person experienced in their life.
When we see calloused hands, it may represent the effects of a life of hard work, dedication and a focus on providing a good life for others.
When we see a hobbling gait, it may be the result of a lifetime of denying one’s self, needs and the effect of physically challenging work.
When we see a forlorn expression, it may be the result of having lost one or more loved ones, a parent, a sibling, a child, a friend. It may be the aftermath of a shattered childhood, marriage or health.
These things will only be discovered if/when we honestly and openly listen, objectively assess and offer genuine compassion toward others. An unencumbered vision of the lives within the life of another person is only attainable when we put others needs before our own; when we offer help to those in need; when we pray for others and pray for God’s forgiveness of our own shortcomings. Indeed, when we Love others as we love ourselves.
It is likewise, human nature to associate the symptoms of aging with incompetence, reduced value and insignificance. In truth, this tendency should be viewed as shameful, arrogant and insensitive, as it robs the dignity, self-respect and appreciation of others for the selfish aim of building our own egos; of neglecting the needs and dignity of others.
There is never a bad time to offer support and encouragement to everyone we encounter in life. And in Truth, the individual we may be helping most, is ourselves.
Lift up your life, by lifting up others.
As the seasons echo changes in our physical world, so too, does age mimic the passing of time. In an eerrily similar fashion, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter parallel our human life’s transformation of Child, Adolescent, Adult and Elder.
Without question, both transformations represent distinct, yet related stages or phases of growth, in the physical sense, and yes, also in the metaphysical sense. A cursory glance of each cycle could easily end purely on the visisble and tactile plane, yet, when examined at a more subterranean level, multiple layers of context bubble up to the surface. Emotional, Psychological, Spiritual and Cognitive strata collectively define our being as individuals.
And as surely as the seasons elicit deep understanding, wonder, amazement and respect, so should life… So MUST life.
As we (individuals) progress through life, knowledge is learned, experience is gained, values are formed and reinforced, behavior is exhibited, relationships are made and developed, and most importantly, wisdom is attained as a collective result. Truly, wisdom is underrated in life.
Indeed, as your children grow as children of God, they are as sponges in the ocean to your lead and example as parents and responsible adults. Your words and actions, your compassion, your discipline, your teaching, your Love…. blend a message your children directly and subliminally receive and absorb.
“Yet, inasmuch as this environment contributes to our development as human beings, it is unmistakably guided by each person’s free will, choices and decisions. Our life plays out at the intersection of responsibility and accountability. Indeed, actions have consequences”.
And then… physical maturity catches us from behind and prevents us from returning to our youth. Many perceive this “fact of life” to be madddening, frightening, horrifying and just downright abhorable. Yet, the other side of the coin has a redeeming merit; for it represents the shadows, profile and characteristics of everything we desire to share with others… and that is Wisdom.
So, parents and seasoned humans skilled in the profession of “life”, take stock in the beauty that is wisdom; Adolescent and Adult sons and daughters, take value in the beauty of your parents and elders, for they are a rich and robust source of wisdom. As they age and their physical acuity begins to fade, never forget the tremendous insight they have about life. Their life experiences may not even be known to you, yet assuredly, they suffered, they rejoiced, they learned valuable life lessons and they simply want to share this wisdom with you because they Love you. Moreover, they possess the unique ability to package, customize and deliver that wisdom about many facets of life to you; if only you allow yourself to be open, receptive and appreciative of it.
“When I was a boy of fourteen, my old man was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around; but by the time I became twenty one, I was amazed at how much he had learned in seven years.”
– Mark Twain
If I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s that even though my relationship with my dad was rocky at times, I learned a tremendous amount about life and living from him in a relatively short period of time; about self-respect, compassion, focus, humility, and excellence, along with a few things not to do. And from my mom, I learned the gentleness, tolerance, caring and duty to family that is required to achieve spiritual maturity.
Photo Credit: A.F. Bradley in his Studio
Above all, however, I would give my right arm, yes, even more, to be able to see my parents again and be able to sit down and talk with them about many things; and to thank them for loving me in their own way, for working hard to raise me and my family, for demonstrating by their actions, the reality, truth and grace of God, and to tell them that I love them deeply… For my soul is Saved in large part because of their love for me.
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
– Robert Fulghum
Indeed, it would be a cruel joke if God created us in His image, and then somehow, failed to provide us with the things we truly need to live a prosperous life as a Christian. And the truth of the matter is that each of us has what we need (note: not want) to experience an exceedingly rich and joyful life, if we choose to follow Christ‘s teaching; to avoid sin and love others without reservation.
“Perhaps by design to illustrate and test the construct of faith, God included many resources for us to enjoy. Yet, as our free will would have it, we at times, enjoy too much, obsess too much and exclude what matters too much; to the point we lose focus on what is good, what has been provided and what enriches our soul.”
There are numerous tasks each of us must not only perform, but rather, master, if we are to realize our potential as beautiful and uniquely special children of God. Among the critical few are to identify and develop self-awareness, core values, faith, discipline, compassion, respect and humility.
Collectively, these tasks prepare us to love one another, which is the ultimate end-game of our existence. And make no mistake, we have everything we need in this life to reach that goal, to fulfill our destiny.
It is our use of choice that solely determines the path we pursue, and the extent we realize our future. And a wise choice is to use prayer to seek God’s wisdom, grace and guidance to reveal answers that will lead us into eternity.
The enlightened choice is the one we make when it aligns with God’s will, plan and future. And we possess all the worldly resources necessary to meet His expectations. If only we choose to use what we need and avoid what we don’t. Choose wisely.
There is no doubt that many of us have witnessed evil in our lifetimes. Evil is so hideous, in fact, it leaves long-lasting memories, perhaps better called nightmares, with anyone that has experienced its realm.
Like being “broke”, however, in the financial sense, evil really does not exist as an entity. It is what remains when Truth and Light are removed. More aptly, evil is a vacuum, it is the unwanted, unattractive filth that remains in the absence of God.
When a person is in financial straits, we say he/she is broke. In reality, however, being broke is the vacuum that is created when one loses their financial wealth.
“And so it is with darkness. Darkness is not anything tangible that you can touch, measure or quantify. What we experience as darkness is merely and simply, the absence of light. Darkness can assume many different forms in life; it can be violence, it can be hopelessness, it can be fear and despair. At its foundation, the common denominator that defines darkness and enables it to be experienced, is the absence of God”.
Similarly, light can manifest itself in people in many ways. Light can be reflected by the words a person speaks, the facial gestures that indicate compassion (smile, caring, joy, empathy; yes, even tears), the behaviors that demonstrate and witness the goodness, humility, peace and forgiveness of God. Notably, the presence of God is evidenced by Love. Where there is love, there is God.
Light is fueled by noble, positive and caring thoughts, actions and attitude/demeanor. Each of us creates Positive Energy by choice. It’s all about “intent”. It’s how we choose to think, act and importantly, react. Each of us is responsible for our actions. Each of us is likewise accountable for those actions.
Without ever really knowing it, we have become conditioned since birth to associate evil with darkness. Fears of going down into the dark basement; anxiety of walking alone down a dimly or eerily lit block at dusk; frantically searching for a flashlight or candle when the power goes out at home. Whether these examples truly reflect evil is not the point, the point is that darkness creates fear as darkness equates with evil.
Now then, how does one go about confronting something that really does not exist? Easy! Evil (darkness) is confronted and vanished by Light (positive thoughts and actions, optimism, morally-based behavior, decisions and intent). Core values steeped in moral and ethical behavior, worked over time into the creation of habits; the anticipation of positive events in life that directly impact each of us; gratitude, humility and faith for the good things when they do occur. This is the foundation of Light and Truth. It it the Invitation for God to enter our soul and enrich us as human beings, it is our fate; if we so choose it.
As complex as reality and the human condition have become, when we wade through the murky water of life and relationships, it all boils down to the fundamental concept of Darkness and Light. How wise is God to have chosen this simple yet effective metaphor to illustrate who He is and what He desires for each of us?
One thing that is paramount in life is that details matter, down to the most minute and up to the most obvious. To walk in the Light, we must be ever so vigilant to take notice and deliberately choose all our thoughts, words, actions, relationships, behaviors, etc., so that they align, support and yield the results we intend, for ourselves and for those we influence.
There is indeed a real sense of responsibility, accountability and impact each of us must accept as Christians. Being a Christian is not analogous to a light switch, where we consciously turn it on and off. Like life itself, breathing and our heart beat; it must be continuous for it to work as intended.
In the future, make sure to remember that every little thought, decision, action, intention and influence we create is like that small ripple in the water that is created when a stone is tossed into a lake; from the point of entry, a small wave begins and travels outward forever, impacting everything in its path. Let’s make each of those interactions we create with others, positive and well-intended.
With absolute certainty, those actions, like the boomerang, inevitably return to us in due time. Remember, All Things Must Pass. Be well.
As a human race, collectively humanity, we have diligently worked to dissect the world around us; to discover the secrets of the human body, to explain the universe; to attempt to understand all that “is”. Yet, we continuously overlook the most empirical and critical aspect of our very existence. We avoid researching and discovering our spirit and soul.
Atheists relentlessly strive to disprove something they say does not exist. I say, that approach perfectly illustrates the definition of “Insanity”, much like Cognitive Dissonance. Isn’t it so much more logical and sane to expend energy working to prove something does exist? Positive communication is always the surest confirmation of the transference of thought and ideas, yes? And by the very nature and definition of the scientific method, it is impossible to prove the non-existence of anything; for to accomplish that feat requires tangible facts.
“As involuntary reactions like breathing, pupil dilation, sneezing, and yes, even our heartbeat, occur without thought or conscious stimulus, compassion is likewise more a verb than a noun.”
Compassion involves caring, knowing, feeling and empathy. It is a direct result of the way each of us are “wired” as unique and individual human beings. Profoundly, however, it is a symptom and not the cause. Anyone who is skilled in RCA (Root Cause Analysis) troubleshooting and thought process has been taught how to appropriately, get to the root of a cause/effect relationship.
Such is the case with compassion. But just what exactly is at the root of compassion; what makes it a symptom?
As a campfire requires an ignition source, so must compassion be preceded by some spark to ignite it. We see, hear and feel compassion all around us on a regular basis, so much so perhaps, that we have become somewhat desensitized to the reality of its existence.
A mother comforting a crying newborn infant; a little boy helping his friend up after having fallen off his bike; a father consoling his daughter after having her heart broken by her first boyfriend; a homeowner shoveling the snow from his elderly neighbor’s driveway after a snowstorm. Yes, compassion is all around us, if only we take the time to recognize and appreciate it, along with the people that live compassionate lives.
What spark then, undeniably dwelling inside each of us, ignites these acts of compassion? Some call it heart, some conscience, others simply refer to it as caring, and still many more recognize it as the direct result of spirit, soul and faith. Most definitely, compassion is in and of itself, invisible and intangible; yet the impact and outcomes of its presence are astonishingly and incredibly observable. They are in fact, Real.
As a people, or perhaps better phrased, as a people lacking faith, we become agitated, frightened, anxious and insecure when we cannot explain things that occur in our world. As testimony, some of the most calm, self-assured, peaceful, optimistic and happy people I know are people of deep, deep faith, regardless of their financial or occupational “well-being”. Conversely, people of violence, anger and hatred clearly emanate a decided absence of faith in their lives.
For this author, this is clearly a cause/effect scenario and relationship. Make no mistake, God dwells inside each of us, however, is equally dormant and superficially unrecognizable, unless deliberately and consciously , invited to participate, influence and direct our lives.
If you seek to be happy, to possess a sense of purpose about your life, to pursue a peaceful, content and significant existence, then without question, you must welcome, nurture and practice living in faith. What comes along for the ride is humility, inner peace, moral conviction, and oh yes, Love. Be well today and experience the compassion of a person that walks in faith; and you will never walk alone for the remainder of your (eternal) life.
To a person, whether we intend to or not, each of us leaves an indelible, yet invisible mark upon the world. We leave that mark upon others and it doesn’t really matter whether we know them or not, have met them or not or like them or not. Our inner-most thoughts are transformed into actions and words as pure energy, and subsequently, are received by others and (hopefully) understood as we meant them to be.
In reality, every mark we leave upon the world via others is as unique as the person that receives it, because they are unique. Each person exposed to our spirit is changed by the invisible ink of our being and influence. An uplifting word or gesture, a friendly smile, a helping hand or a random act of kindness, serves to imprint a portion of our essence upon others as invisible ink; ink that can only be read by the heart. Conversely, unpleasant experiences are likewise transmitted in a similar fashion.
Our presence in this world is as a can of spray paint when used to color an object. In the course of spray painting and depending upon our skill, most of the paint is received by the object, yet unavoidably, some paint is oversprayed onto whatever is in the background. It is absorbed by a drop-cloth, some small particles are carried in the air, while others are perhaps left to settle on another object. Living life to the fullest is indeed, a skill; as is communication.
“And so it is with our being. Our lives belong to the world as we are inextricably linked to everything and everyone around us.”
A part of me is being received by you as you read these words. Each picture I include in my posts creates some mental imagery in your mind. Each video I select to complement the subject of the story can be interpreted differently be each person as they internalize it using their unique and special experience repertoire.
Adopting a metaphysical view, our lives can be considered eternal as a result of others’ memories of us during each of our lives. These memories remain in our conscious minds even after the person who created them is no longer physically alive. Spiritually, however, they (you and I) remain very much alive in every sense of the word, forever.
Without a doubt, most of us have at one point or another in our lives, contemplated how we would like to be remembered by others after we physically leave this life and world. And whether we accept it or not, we likewise have tremendous influence over the memories we have, are and will create in others. It’s that little thing called “free will”; we are free to choose our thoughts, actions, reactions, words and disposition for every second we are alive. How beautiful is that?
Keeping that frame of reference in mind will also greatly influence you as you make the choices that create and affect your life. Profoundly, it follows, that each of us creates our own future. Our future is the product or outcome of taking responsibility and holding ourselves accountable for our actions. We are not unwilling victims in life; to the contrary, we are active participants!
My journey to lead a positively-focused and centered life was (and is) a work in progress that requires energy, attitude, compassion and humility (also a work in progress). In short, it is my choice to make and I hope I have positively influenced you today. I see and expect a beautiful future, because I know I am responsible for it. I continuously strive to tune in my senses to the world around me. Similarly, I wish a beautiful future for you. Be well.
There are few words that evoke crystal clear clarity in visual terms like the image that is created in my head by the word “Compassion”. I see with my mind and feel with my heart; the emotion of caring when I contemplate the meaning of compassion. For me, compassion captures the essence of what we (including myself) are about. Specifically, what we value, what we cherish and what we strive to achieve in the course of living our lives.
Throughout my life, I have been gifted with the ability to join and leverage my senses to create imagery that has enabled me to generate incredible focus in all areas of my existence toward the Greater Good. And subsequently, to be able to transform and apply that focus into actionable, observable and achievable outcomes and results. I know its kind of like a logical and nerdy affliction, however, it is who I am. To the point, I KNOW who I am. By fully embracing that essence of my being, self awareness is very tangible, evident and easy to assimilate into reality.
So what exactly is compassion, you ask? Indeed, it is a burning desire to create outcomes that help people, redeem their noble and innocently directed energy and create synergies to advance good in the world; while overcoming evil, hate, sinister behavior and malcontents. It is the warmth of the support offered by friends and family; the protective shield against harm; the eternal guard against negativity and destruction. It is optimism, humility, kindness and yielding. It is constant, powerful and selfless duty.
“It is no coincidence that at the heart of the word compassion, lies compass. And what is a compass?; if not a guiding light and beacon that directs us to, and identifies “the way” of goodness, kindness, civility and moral abundance.”
Each of us truly knows, deep down inside our hearts, what is Right, conversely, what is Wrong, and what things prevent us from creating the reality of our compassion. We must seek the quiet shores of our mortal oceans, listen to the voices manifested as the whispers of the wind in our minds and commit to adjusting our sails and rudders to point in the direction that our Moral Compass leads us to follow. But it takes true courage, conviction and intent. It requires purposeful thought accompanied by deliberate action.
Likewise, Personal Harmony occurs when our thoughts, intents and actions correlate and support our essence as human beings and gifted spirits. When achieved, personal harmony in our lives reverberate outward as a surreal symphony of accord and fellowship. This frequency-based harmony in turn, causes others to take notice and encourages them to similarly seek their inner peace and reason for being.
And the most effective approach to discovering your compassion is to focus on others, precisely their needs and their footprints in the world. What is life, if not a living classroom, led by our Teacher, an environment where He teaches and we learn the important aspects and nuances of our being. Let others’ challenges, victories and failures be that magnet that drives the “True North” of our moral compass. And let it point the way for us in our journey; in your journey in this life.
“Compassion for People, Passion for Writing, Living my Conscience.” Be well.
Only YOU can truly Change the World…
- Haiti Surgical Mission – Up Close and Personal (cerkas.wordpress.com)
- Megan Guyton- Compassion is Key (facets2013blogb.wordpress.com)
- Setting the Moral Compass a Look at the Human Soul – Special Series: # 003 (christon74.wordpress.com)
- Leading With A Moral Compass (reasonoftheheart.wordpress.com)
- The fall comes from living (bodyremember.com)
- Without God, what’s the point!? (thelivingmessage.com)
- Compassion (sandystrachan.wordpress.com)
- Letting the Light In – Achieving Personal Harmony (cerkas.wordpress.com)
- Making Sense of the World – Shine Your Light (cerkas.wordpress.com)
When each of us was born, our “story” began a new chapter in our book of eternal being. This worldly experience, overladen with physical senses that dominate our existence, draws us toward each other like a black hole swallows matter. The concept of relationships dominates our lives and one would surmise we should be, well, pretty darn good at them.
Enter reality. In truth, relationships are anything but easy. They are most times multi-dimensional and complex, full of emotion, vary in intensity, duration and value, and are almost always unpredictable. They come in all shapes and sizes, from friends, to co-workers, neighbors, family, lovers, spouses, professional associates, to hobbyists, group members, political, and yes, religious-based beliefs.
At the core of any relationship is the mindset, followed closely by the interaction; over time, producing a relationship history or memory bank of sorts, which by the way, also influences the relationship as it develops. And the mindset, almost a living, breathing entity of its own, is born of personal values, beliefs and internal and external environments via previous experiences.
Of all the various relationships that exist for each of us through our lives, there are two, that largely determine how “successful”, or perhaps more accurately described as meaningful, all the others will be.
The first and most influential relationship is with Jesus Christ. The level of acknowledgement, acceptance and trust, conversation, comfort and respect determine the quality, strength and depth of the relationship. The more refined and developed it becomes in our lives, the more sensitive and in tune we are with the second most important relationship; that which we have with ourselves.
“Without exception, individuals with a high degree of self-awareness, interests, skills, peace, self-respect and knowledge of limitations or boundaries (both strengths and weaknesses), experience more enduring and better quality relationships with others.”
This self-awareness is manifested in our lives as authenticity, genuineness, sense of harmony and clear life priorities. Not only do we experience little self-doubt or alignment of actions with thought as a result, in addition, the spirit that others likewise see us as, is more accurately aligned with who we truly are as unique and individual human beings.
Possessing, recognizing and maintaining healthy relationships with God and ourself is akin to looking out a perfectly clear/clean window as compared to one which is dirty, clouded or in worst cases, visibly blocked.
The essential point to remember is to cherish and take care of these two relationships in your life over any and all others, as they will illuminate your path as a bright pair of headlights makes your future travel/path readily seen. Choices become more obvious and easier to make. In a similar fashion, each of us readily recognizes and embraces accountability for our actions.
As the foundation of a house supports the weight of the building and maintains the infrastructure, our relationships with Jesus Christ and ourselves support all our interactions in life. And like our own being, relationships are eternal if we want them to be. It’s all about understanding, communication, compassion and Love. Say it Loud…. Say it Clear. Be well.
- Personal Relationship Cannot be Maintained in Crowds (memoirandremains.wordpress.com)
- Seeking God? (tobiisaac428.wordpress.com)
- Do you know him? (tranforminglives4christ.wordpress.com)
- The Lord Is Peace (prodigyempire.wordpress.com)
- After The Love Is Gone: The Most Common Reasons People Fall Out Of Love (nafriniselect.com)
The immense and breathtaking power and expression of Love is manifested in many ways in this world. None, however, touch the heart, literally and figuratively, and as powerfully, as the everyday acts of caring exhibited by Nurses everywhere.
At their core, Nurses share a common trait, extraordinary compassion for others. Whether it involves physically aiding an individual to walk from a hospital bed to the restroom or assisting in an open-heart operation in surgery, Nurses transform that acute sense of compassion into observable, notable and meaningful behaviors that are not only seen with human eyes, but are felt within our hearts.
I would be remiss not to offer that I believe my words speak authentically to the heart of the matter as I have been married to a Nurse for over 35 years (yes, the same Nurse). Firsthand experience has ranged from personal witness in the Operating Room to observing an undeniable passion for helping others, whether they be complete strangers, friends, neighbors or family.
It is no wonder, then, that Nurses have been formally endowed and recognized with their own week of adoration and respect. In reality, they should be recognized in an ongoing fashion; their work is that amazing. I’m sure every one of us has at least one first-hand memory of witnessing a caring Nurse demonstrate genuine compassion for another human being.
To all Nurses in the world, I humbly and sincerely thank you for your dedication, compassion, application of knowledge and commitment to the health and well-being of your fellow human beings. Be well.
- We need a new way to value the work of nurses (kevinmd.com)
- Thank A Nurse (bluegrassbulletin.com)
- Nurse Quotes: 10 Famous Lines Every Nurse Should Know (nursebuff.com)
- Behind the Scenes (goerie.com)
- Haiti Surgical Mission – Up Close and Personal (cerkas.wordpress.com)