Monday, February 9, 2015

Serving up compassion

A dear friend and I were talking recently about the lack of gentleness and compassion we sometimes see around us. Granted, lots of people are stressed beyond belief and are completely tapped out emotionally. And we have no idea what is going on in the lives of those we meet in stores, on the street, or in our workplaces. Sometimes even those in our family or friendship circles.

What if we try to do our part to add more compassion, kindness and gentleness into the world? What it really requires is that we be in touch with what's going on inside us. Feel our feelings—rather than mask or ignore them. If we don't tend to our own wounds and losses, grieving them as they happen and addressing the pain rather than acting as though we don't feel a thing, we'll be so much more clear and open-hearted—better able to deal with others around us who may not have done whatever inner work was required to deal with their "stuff."

As infectious as toxicity, anger and negative emotions are, so also are positive things such as generosity, kindness, gentleness and compassion. In fact, I think those last qualities trump the negative ones any day. For my money, I'd rather go with the positives. We have no idea how far a smile or an act of kindness may travel once we share it. Isn't it worth serving up some compassion and love today?

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