I have always had compassion for others. When I was little, my mom and I were watching a Neil Young concert and I was so worried and felt so bad for him because I thought he was a homeless person . He was dressed like a homeless person and looked really scruffy. Little did I know, he chose to dress like that, and had plenty of money. I still remember that feeling of compassion I felt for him that day.
I still feel that sense of compassion and care for those that are less fortunate. Along the way I lost the sense of innocence that goes along with that compassion and I stopped believing the best in people. I got hard. And I don’t want to be that way anymore. I want to believe the best in people. I want to invest in my relationships and build strong ones based on my core values. I want to feel that compassion towards others, especially if I don’t know their story. And even if I do know their story, I want to forgive them and be kind to them.
Stephen Covey tells of a story about being in a subway when a father and his 3 children enter. The children are misbehaving and disruptive and the father only sits there. This goes on for quite some time, and finally someone approaches the father to get his children under control. He replies, Oh I’m sorry, we just came from their mother’s funeral and I’m not really sure what to do now. That story rings true.
I was waiting for the red eye flight from Hawaii, and I saw a family with 2 small children. My immediate thoughts were, “Great, we’re going to be awake all night with screaming children on the plane. Why would those parents take their children on an overnight flight?? Are they nuts?!? How rude!” How do I know what the circumstances were? And honestly, I didn’t hear a peep out of the children the entire flight. Huh. I want to take those immediate negative thoughts and change them for the positive. Stop jumping to conclusions about others, and attempt to see things from their point of view.
The more positive thoughts you put out, the more positive energy, the more good in the world.