“Why did you help him with that project when you feel so put out? You can’t even finish your work!”
The reaction is predictable and human. Everyone extols the beauty of sacrifice, and yes, it is all too necessary. But it comes with pain and lack, feelings that are often impossible to ignore. Those who can give of themselves without batting an eyelid are truly commendable. Theirs is a gift, one which many of us secretly envy. It makes them inspiring, delightful personalities. The ability to bless with kindness is rare, and to be treasured.
So, I pay tribute to the people in my life who have that gift. Their natural compassion has made a difference that they realize.
My mother-in-law is one of the people who gives without expecting anything in return. The lady teaches the art of loving others, even when they are hard to love. She has stood by relatives in awkward phases of their lives, even when they are not appreciative of her help. She reminds us to accord respect, even when there is little reason to make it due.
There is my friend, Mary, a fellow alumnus of my University. As a teacher, she devoted all the time she had to reach out to the most hardcore recalcitrants in her classes. She has gotten a counseling degree and is now works to bring together students and their estranged families. She works tirelessly, accepting calls in the dead of the night.
This point may be one of contention, but to me, animals have the most innate compassion. The ever-perky four-year-old Cloudy, my West Highland Terrier, always waits for my older dog, Misty, to catch up with her on walks. She refuses to go anywhere until her “big sister” can catch up with her.
These people are not unreachable heroes in a Touched By an Angel story (no offense to the series or its fans; the show is a favorite of mine). The fact is, inherent compassion lies in us all. Trying to make it surface can feel like a Mount Everest expedition, but remember that it always works better to move a person than any form of negativity.
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine