"Just Tell Them...

I have worked 40 years to make the Women's Suffrage platform broad enough for Atheists and Agnostics to stand upon, and now if need be I will fight the next 40 to keep it Catholic enough to permit the straightest Orthodox religionist to speak or pray and count her beads upon."

Susan B. Anthony

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"True Compassion is not Just an Emotional Response...

but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change, even if they behave negatively. Through universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama


Received this as the word of the day from Gratefulness.org . It struck a chord with me. Plus, the Dalai Lama is in the U.S. now, so I thought it appropriate to share.

What is amazing to me that so many folks seem to believe that Compassion *is* merely an emotional response. These same people say things to me like "I could never rescue a pet and then let it go to another home." or "How can you stand to walk into those high kill shelters?" They are probably the same folks who used to say "I don't see how you can go to work and look at bald kids with cancer all day" back when I was a BMT nurse. Same folks that rail against all forms of hunting .... even those that feed indigenous populations.

My response has always been thus: "Just because I don't see pain, doesn't mean it doesn't exist." or, the kinder/ gentler, "I do what I can. Your gifts are not mine and vice versa."

I realize now that my own Compassion wears thin with "comfortable" people. Not with dogs, or cats, or sick children, or the caribou based economy of the Inuit. The very people that my questioners probably enjoy being around.... are the ones that rub me the wrong way. So, just for this week, I am practicing spending time with folks who enjoy life only when they are surrounded by trophy dogs and well coiffed children.


I am glad His Holiness can look at THAT all day and not get burned out!


No comments:

Post a Comment