Tag Archives: Compassion


10 Dec

Sometimes when we think about ourselves we may underrate our true value because of something we don’t feel we measure up to.  Perhaps we don’t look like super models or that guy on the fitness commercials, maybe we aren’t influential speakers, or perhaps we don’t think we’re smart enough.  Sometimes we demean ourselves because we haven’t yet achieved the level of success we aspire to, or don’t make the money we think we should.  There are limitless things we can measure ourselves against, and often when we do, we feel we aren’t good enough.  But that’s a dangerous and detrimental game to play.  The truth is, we are all exactly who we need to be at this point in time.  We can’t be anything other right now than what we are.  We can make changes if we want to, and if they’re important to us.  However, right now we are enough just as we are.

Personal glory is an attribute we all share.  Glory is defined as magnificence, renown or honor.  We all have things we do well, traits that are exemplary, and distinctive and unique features to our personalities that are beneficial and valuable.  All of those are magnificent and honorable.  And every day we have the chance to share them with the world.  Even the most meek and timid among us has a lot to offer.  We don’t have to be millionaires or kings to have an impact.  We need only be who we are, and share ourselves with those around us.  When we do our very best, or when we choose what is right and noble and true, we express our personal glory.  If we let it shine every day, those around us will be magnified and embellished, and will treasure their interactions with us.

We can express our glory in many ways.  When we extend our friendship and our hands to help, when we forgive, and when we offer a little more and have compassion, we glorify those around us.  When we make noble choices, when we honor others, and when we praise them for their good works, we share glory with them.  It’s something we all have, but we don’t always acknowledge it.  If we really shared how much we have to offer every single day, we would change the world.  We can be excellent examples, we can choose to make wise choices, and we can enrich our experiences by recognizing and expressing our personal glory every day.  It’s a valuable blessing, and sharing it is our privilege and choice.

Today, remember your personal glory.  Open up and share your gifts with those around you.  Show them your valiance, your commitment, and your care.  We need each other and we need you.  You are exactly how you should be today.  You don’t need to be anything more right now.  Be confident.  You have so much to share, and the world is better because you’re here.


The Sky is Falling

23 Jul

When we’re making plans for something we need to do or somewhere we need to go, we try to plan effectively so everything will go well.  But sometimes complications occur that are out of our control.  Sometimes it’s a small manageable glitch, but other times it seems like everything goes wrong.  The sky falls, and it’s a complete disaster.  It’s like our lives have turned into the Bermuda Triangle – everything has gone crazy, and nothing is working.   When we’re in the midst of these situations, it is very trying and difficult.  It can seem that the stars have aligned against us, and there are supernatural forces at work.  Of course, none of that is true.  We’re just going through a difficult situation that, for reasons we can’t explain, just keeps getting worse.  In the midst of the mess, it’s hard to keep going, and it’s hard to remain positive.  But sometimes we have no choice, and no matter how bad it gets, we have to trudge through it.

It’s important to reach out when we’re tormented, and feel beset.  We can ask for help.  Those who care about us want us to be safe, and happy.  They will assist us if we ask.  Sometimes we think we can handle things on our own, or we are embarrassed by the situation, and asking for help is difficult.  But if we try to face everything on our own, and it’s overwhelming, it will be much harder to solve than if we get help from others.  We’re only human, and everyone has been in situations like this.  We can get the help we need, we can get advice, and we can get assistance to navigate whatever we’re going through until we can manage it more effectively.  After things settle down we can learn from the experience and move forward.  Later when someone else is going through something similar we can return the favor and help them.  Our compassion for their situation will be enhanced by the experiences we’ve already faced.

It’s hard to cope when a lot of things go wrong at the same time.  We may find ourselves asking, “Why me?”  It can feel like we’ve been singled out for trouble.  But everyone gets the opportunity to experience these kinds of situations from time to time.  It’s never easy.  It’s never fun.  And it’s rarely expected, but we can navigate it.  It takes courage and patience, but we can handle it.  There really is nothing we will face in this life that we can’t manage.  Nobody wants to go through times like these, but when they come, we can manage them.  We are capable of handling whatever comes to us.  There is nothing that will defeat us.

Today if you are overcome with a situation that has become intense, and complicated, don’t hesitate to ask for help.  Turn to someone you trust.  Those who care about you will help and you’ll be able to get through the situation more comfortably.  You will conquer this, and you will be successful.  When the trial is over, remember how much it meant to have support when you needed it.  And then, do the same for those around you.  Remember, we’re not going through this life alone.  We’re all in this together.  Reach out when you need help, and be there when others need you.

Oh please, allow me.

9 Apr

One day while in the parking lot of my local grocery store, I saw a woman in a wheelchair trying to reach the open top window door of her van to close it. She stretched and stretched and could not get it. I went right over and said, “Oh please, allow me,” reached up and closed it for her. She was so appreciative, and thankful, and said I was an angel to help her out. An angel? All I did was close a door. But from her perspective, she was facing something she needed to do, and wasn’t able to accomplish it. Just helping her get it done meant a lot to her. There were several other people in the parking lot that walked right by her, and I wondered why nobody thought to help her. But you know how it is, it’s easy to zone out and get stuck in our own worlds. It’s easy to walk by, and fail to notice someone in need.

I thought about that and determined that I would try to be more observant and see where I could help more often. The next day I made a point everywhere I went to look around and see what I could do to be a positive influence to others in some small way. I helped a lady get one of those annoying plastic bags off the roll at the store, I talked to the cashier before I left and asked how he was doing, I ran ahead and held a door for an elderly lady, and I made a crying child in a shopping cart laugh. These are very insignificant acts of kindness for sure, but each time I got an appreciative smile or thank you, and it was great. I had an amazing day just trying to be helpful. It was amazing. It felt so good!

Did I make a big impact on anyone’s life – no, but it made a huge impact on me. Since that time, I have sincerely tried to pay more attention to those around me and have found that every single day, there are countless opportunities to help out in some small way. Just smiling and saying hello when you pass someone on the street can be a boost for them. Striking up a conversation with a sales clerk who looks stressed can lift their spirits. Being the one to say, “excuse me” when someone bumps into you instead of waiting for them to say so can bring a smile. Waving someone into the parking space you were waiting for, letting someone go in front of you in line because they have less than you, asking a co-worker if they would like a soda when you’re going to get one for yourself, picking up the pen someone dropped before they stoop, sharing your bag of chips, offering to carry something for someone – all small, seemingly insignificant acts of kindness. But it’s amazing what happens when you do them. The people you help out appreciate it, and your heart will be lighter, your spirits will be higher, and you’ll be happier. It doesn’t seem like such a small change could impact us so much, but it does.

Today, try this for yourself. Look around. Be aware. Pay attention. See what you can do. Offer your hand, help out, smile, be gracious when you don’t have to be, and do just a little more. See what happens. In this day and age, we’re all so busy and consumed with what needs to be done next. It’s easy to keep our eyes down, look away, concentrate on our cell phones, and continue on. But look up – look around. Do something to show you care. The investment from you will be small but the returns are large. “Oh please, allow me.” It’s a great attitude.

With all my heart.

2 Apr

This is a heartbreaking story – literally. A young man from Georgia a couple of years ago needed a heart transplant. He was only 15. The transplant committee was hesitant to put him on the transplant list because he had a troubled past, and they were not sure he would comply with the directions after the transplant to ensure that it was effective. Hearts for transplant are not readily available and come at the highest cost. So determining who gets one is a very serious business. The boy’s mother appealed to the press who immediately took up her cause and he got the transplant. He was grateful and happy at the time saying the transplant would help him, “So I can live a second chance. Get a second chance and do things I want to do,” he said. It was a happy outcome for him and for his family who loved him.

Fast forward two years. This week that same boy died in a car chase with police after an attempted robbery and in a stolen car. He was 17. It’s horribly sad on several levels. First of all, he was given two years of life he would not have had without the death of his donor, and being allowed to receive his new heart. Secondly, he obviously did not value that gift enough to change his life, and really do those things he said he wanted to do. Unless, of course, what he wanted to do was die in a car chase with police, which is doubtful.

The heart – we give it a lot of attention, and rightly so. Of course, besides the brain, it’s the organ that keeps us alive. We need it unconditionally. But what about the other “heart?” The one we refer to when we love someone, the one we talk about when someone is kind, the one we attribute to our charity and sensitivity. “She wears her heart on her sleeve. He has such a good heart. My heart hurts when I see such pain.” When we talk about our heart in that way, we refer to our human-ness. Our capacity to love and care. It’s a powerful thing, our heart, and all the emotions we attribute to it.

But the heart should not outweigh the brain. The brain is what tells us what is real, where our reasoning is, and helps us figure things out. Who among us hasn’t fallen in love with someone or something with our hearts, but realized with our brains that it would never fly? We need to reason even when there is emotion. We need to think even when we’re captivated. Sometimes that may take a little time until all the facts uncover themselves, and sometimes we know right away it’s not a good idea to follow our “hearts.” We need both our brains and our hearts to make decisions and if we’re careful, and take a little time, those decisions will be made well. Not always, of course, but if we think, we’ll be more successful than if we don’t.

Once I bought the most amazing jacket – I just loved it from the moment I saw it and it was on sale, so I bought it. It was expensive but I was completely crazy about it. So I followed my heart, pulled out my credit card and bought it. I was ecstatic all the way home with my new find. I couldn’t wait to wear it. But when I got home and pulled it out of the bag I noticed a problem with one of the sleeves I had not seen in the store. There was a big pull in the fabric and no matter how I twisted it and tried to fix it, there was no hope. And then when I looked at the color in the light of day, instead of the light in the store, it didn’t look so great. In fact it was ugly. Ugh. I could not return it – no sale returns clearly posted in the store, and now I was stuck with an expensive jacket I would never wear. I kept it in my closet for over a year as a reminder to me to THINK before I jumped when my heart told me to.

Making a bad purchase is a small thing in the scope of our lives, but the reminder to think before following our hearts is an important lesson. The boy with the heart transplant had been given a second chance at life. He had been given an extraordinary gift and in the end, he squandered it. He could have done amazing things with his life. He could have chosen to be noble. He could have helped others. He could have been the example for good. But he followed his other “heart” – his base desires and did not use his brain. And now he is gone. We should do better. We can use our hearts for all the great and tantalizing moments in our lives, but we can also engage our brains to think before we act. Be kind, be loving, be compassionate, be careful, AND be wise. Use your heart for good, and use your brain to help you achieve that good.