Compassion

“Some things take so long But how do I explain When not too many people Can see we’re all the same And because of all their tears Your eyes can’t hope to see The beauty that surrounds them Now, isn’t it a pity”    George Harrison

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
― Plato

I am convinced that most of us believe we are not understood, and that others don’t have enough  sympathy for our trials and tribulations. There is a disconnect between what we say and do, and how others interpret that. Put another way, what we say and do is not always easily understood by others. Many people retreat from our conversations, confused with our words and possibly insulted.I am beginning to hate the word insulted. What does that mean, “I am insulted”. I am as guilty of being on both sides of the issue so I understand it as we all do, from both sides. It is ludicrous to think that any of us go to a function or work with the intention of deliberately  hurting another individual. Our minds are not telling us to plan an onslaught of speech that tears  another ego down. It has to makes us wonder if we are so fragile, that our confidence can be shaken at the slightest affront.

Does our attitude  of being offended bring on the sympathy? Is that what we are searching for? Perhaps when any of us want attention from others, we strive to gain it in any way that we can. Attaining the sympathy of others is probably one way we all can easily win. The trouble is, there is usually a culprit in the situation. That person becomes the perpetrator of the offense against us. In reality, probably they are the scapegoat of our fears and stresses.

It isn’t a huge  problem, so we think, because there is no physical crime committed. However, the person does believe there has been an emotional upset and misconduct executed. Of course we all fall into these traps that others set, and we admonish ourselves for the dilemma we are in. I know I never go to a party with the intention of singling out  someone to affront. I do like to talk so I suppose there have been times when I have unwittingly upset another individual.

When one confronts this problem head -on, we realize our innocence in the situation. Our hearts had no malicious thoughts to injure another but needless to say we find ourselves on the proverbial hot seat anyways. I must admit, it is the worst chair to sit upon, especially when you are totally innocent. Most of the time the greatest offense is just not reflecting before speaking.

When any of us speak without thought, words may appear to be hurtful, tasteless, condemning insulting, unsympathetic or perhaps too joyous for the occasion. At these times we are at the mercy of the person who perceives us as guilty of a transgression. Most likely we can accept the fault immediately and move on. Many others within the group will probably sympathize with the disrespected person. We simply must endure the punishment, even if we are blameless. Giving more attention to the incident only increases its’ intensity and prolongs the atmosphere of pity.

The hardest part is the fact that we never meant to cause pain in the first place. I suppose most of us have received sympathy at one time or another even when it wasn’t deserved. Maybe merited, or not justified, has nothing to do with truth. If one is emotionally downtrodden, then attaining some responsiveness and care from others is warranted. We just need to appreciate our unhappiness, so that we don’t over think the situation and increase another person’s fault in the event.

It is sad that so many of us are neglected enough to require consideration at the most unexpected times. It is as if the cup of emotional pain has run over and spilled onto others. In the process we achieve kindness, but it might be at the cost of accusing another innocent person. Of course if this accused person becomes subjected to the insult of their integrity, they might suffer the violation of their own person.

Observing the give and take and flow of circumstances, resulting from our emotional needs, should make all of us prepared to give more attention to the needs of others. Perhaps if we can hear the cries of pain, before they reach the breaking point, we might alter the unfolding events. By giving more leeway to those who are suffering, we may produce a peaceful encounter.

How many times have we made a  joke and found the person not laughing. They may be in a bad mood. It makes no difference in the ensuing outcome, which produces us, the loser. Another day or time the same individual would have laughed, but not that particular day. There are those people who instill certain emotions on items that we have no understanding of. Older people are insulted when a younger person implies they are stupid, not in the loop, or disengaged from the conversation. The laughter it brings is painful but unnoticed. Of course young people are shamed when they don’t measure up or their kids are not on the proverbial milestones. They are powerless, angry and upset with themselves. This anger will likely spill over onto someone else. Many times we go home confounded at our blame for things we never meant. We can’t even seem to fix the situation no matter how hard we try.

We all want and need answers. Perhaps we would love to shout it out to the world, “I didn’t mean anything awful when I spoke. I didn’t intend on insulting anyone.” The aftermath of an incident is not conducive for gaining forgiveness even for the innocent. Perhaps another day and time will work out better. If we have faith in the notion that others are not out to get us, insult us or make life miserable for us, we just might learn to get along and overlook what we don’t always understand. If we don’t give others the benefit of the doubt, when it is our turn likely we will not receive the courtesy.

If we are impatient, feeling emotionally or physically sick, or stressed out with our lives, we are allowing those stresses to color our thinking. We miss the innuendos of others. We might say or do something regretful unconsciously. Or we may be the recipient of what we consider painful vibes. In either case our moods, attitudes and built up tension towards other people, cause us to react in negative and frustrating ways. It also makes our perception of reality distorted. The bigger we build it up, the greater the pain and blame for both parties.

It is not what either party wants. One needs attention and love, while another needs acceptance and value for who they are. Pain is afforded to both individuals. One might leave with justice achieved, while the other leaves full of revenge. The battle will possibly continue needlessly.  If we could just observe the pain, perhaps we would be willing to let more perceived insults, fly by us. Acknowledging the goodness in all of us, be it siblings, parents, in-laws or friends, we understand that serenity and peacefulness is better than suffering and anger. As humans, we experience pain. That should put us all on the same page.

We all get cranky, tired and stressed out. Those are the ingredients for a full blown blaze of misunderstanding. I attempt to trust in the goodness of others, and their integrity to avoid giving pain to anyone on purpose. It would be awesome if they extended the same mercy on me. Time  passes swiftly and we don’t want to waste it on useless arguments and stressful thinking. It is far better to  contemplate the happiness we receive from others. Take the goodness from every interaction, and prevent the perceived slurs and slights from ever gaining attention in your mind heart or soul. You will find that you are a happier person, who judges less and discovers more goodness in other people. Gaining attention in positive ways is superior to gaining it negatively. Freely give your sympathy, may possibly relieve pain in the process.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”     Albert Einstein

“When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully. When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light. When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it. When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway. When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back. When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some. When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher. When love hurts you, dare to love again. When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal. When another is lost, dare to help them find the way. When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand. When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile. When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too. When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best. Dare to be the best you can  At all times, Dare to be!”    Steve Maraboli

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