5/26/2016

Compassion for Everyone

Talking to some friends online I learned that many people like to hide their
ailments. Society puts so much pressure on everyone to be perfect that it has
become socially unacceptable to expose your flaws. Any flaws are seen as a weakness. It does not matter whether you are running for the Presidency, head of your neighborhood HOA, coaching a kid’s team or just being an in-law, the expectation is nothing less than perfect in every way.

Unfortunately, some of us are not hardwired that way. We come with not only defects of character but some physical issues as well. These are not by choice, not because of poor health and nutrition but simply it is what it is. We don’t blame our parents, pollution and society, we accept. However, those without health issues, those that profess to have it all together feel they are built without flaws. They see themselves as beautiful beings, infallible to chronic illness, mentally sound at all times and incapable of making blunders. They hold others to a much higher standard in life than they hold themselves.

The end result is a split society, those that endure challenges and those that do not.  Growth occurs to those who learn to deal with life as if they are on a sailboat having to navigate against strong winds not going in their favor.  The other parts of society, those with blinders on, go through life oblivious to others maladies. They are quick to judge, slow to respond, alienate themselves from anyone they see that has shown poor decision-making skills ever because it shows a total lack of character in them, unlike themselves.

So as we chatted yesterday, we learned that we each have survived and are surviving with several things in common. But, in sharing we helped each other grow more. One person in the conversation did not have a medical issue going on, but had a deep compassion for others. Her contribution to the conversation was just as meaningful. She experienced that we all learn from each other, and we learned from her, her heart of gold. There is no such thing as a weak link when we are sharing provided it is with an open heart and mind.

We keep our confidences quiet, mostly.  We we know when people ask how you are they really want to hear a trite answer back. All canned answers will do nicely.  We wonder why folks condemn others when they have never walked in their shoes.  We find a bit of sadness that many that suffer would feel much better if others would show abit more compassion and not use energy either avoiding them or putting them down. But, it is what it is.

At the end of the conversation, we knew it was time well-spent.  4 strangers who became lasting friends.  Caring and sharing creates understanding and bonds, when people let down the walls and truly open up.  That is supposed to be how life plays out. Imperfection is reality, anything else is fabrication.  Some people's flaws may be more obvious because of who they are, what position they have held, how they look, what they are willing to share, etc... But, everyone has these bumps, so to speak.  If you didn't, you aren't human.  Find time to be real, if not with others, with yourself. 

Moments like yesterday, one conversation and the world shines a little bit brighter, not just for the four of us, but possibly, for everyone.  

Tomorrow may you start,
To find it in your heart,
Accept people for who they are,
Quit raising up the bar.
Compassion goes a long long way,
And makes our future brighter every day.


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