Monday, May 4, 2015

Caring—but not carrying others' pain

I'm still thinking about all those people in Nepal who were killed and/or injured by the massive earthquake more than a week ago. I find that kind of thing simply heartbreaking. I don't know about you, but I sometimes find it difficult to know just how to carry this kind of "global pain."

Sometimes we hear such stories and count our blessings that we live in the country we do. Well we should count our blessings—for we do have many. But we cannot just dismiss that kind of pain and suffering either.

Years ago I had a counselor tell me to "carry others in your heart but don't carry their pain." That's always been difficult to know how to slice and dice. How do I carry others in my heart without carrying their pain? I know she is correct, that I should not try to carry their pain. I can't do so anyway. But I also don't want to be the type of human being who hears these tragic stories and then simply goes on with the privileged life that so many of us in the U.S. have compared to the rest of the world. Does that make sense to you?

How do you do this? How do you care about our sisters and brothers here and around the globe but not carry their pain around in your heart? How can we show compassion without getting weighed down and being rendered helpless?

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