Compassion seemed to be a theme for me this week.
Compassion certainly seemed to be the most called for emotion in the news:
A child in my community suffering (literally...her pain this week has been unbearable) from liver cancer.
The Congressional Shooting at baseball practice,
A President who baffles us (no matter what side you're on, you know you're baffled...you might as well admit it).
Democrats and Republicans screaming, hollering, and finger pointing,
The young man who committed suicide and his girlfriend who encouraged him to do it,
Bill Cosby - the family icon revealed to be damaged human after all and the lives damaged by his damage...
Alcohol on set of The Bachelor in Paradise...young women who supposedly "knew what they were getting themselves into."
I could very easily let all this bring me down.
The Christmas of the Sandy Hook shooting I barely left my house.
The evil in this world is real.
How the heck are we supposed to deal with all of this??
When my therapist and I talked about compassion this week, we talked about it as a "practice" that is integral to recovery.
Compassion for self as well as others.
I witnessed compassion in my first AA meeting this week, no blame, no judgement, smiles and laughter, in the meeting itself as well as the from the people who allow the AA group to meet in their church.
No matter the specifics of our lives, we are all in this life together.
When we met for late breakfast on Saturday, Dad and I talked about compassion for others and the battles we all fight.
We are all addicted to something...we are all suffering...or will suffer at some time.
Our preacher then discussed compassion in church this morning.
My preacher even brought up Julius Ceasar, y'all...
He's a bold one that one...but a smart one too...he always seems to get the hard things said without ruffling too many feathers. (I'm looking at you, older ladies in our church).
Dad and I talked about education and literacy and how important those two things are to us as survivors.
Education helps us understand that you can indeed psychologically injure someone gravely.
Education and literacy help us understand that Shakespeare's version of Julius Ceasar sends the message that violence is NOT the answer.
Education and literacy help us understand and or continue to learn about politics even when we wish it would just go away...to look at issues from all viewpoints...not just our own.
Education and literacy help us to believe that a country will survive if we can somehow all come together and make compromises where compromises can be met and not just make decisions because they are different from what the other side wants or has done in the past.
Education and literacy help us to explain to the next generation who somehow gets all the way to college believing that all Americans pay the same amount of income taxes each year.
Education and literacy help us become activists for the issues or populations all over the world who are being "taken advantage of."
Education and literacy help us stand up and demand our voices are heard...but to do so in such a way that the other side WILL ACTUALLY LISTEN.
Survival. Education. Literacy. Compassion.
Using Matthew 9: 35-38, my pastor talked about how easy compassion really is.
We care. We act.
Our attitudes create action.
Jesus's message was simple.
And still is.
We're supposed to love one another.
We're supposed to offer compassion.
We're supposed to take care of each other.
We are supposed to act.
It's not political.
It's not judgmental.
It's just not.
Jesus chose 12 regular guys to be His ambassadors.
Not a single one of them was a religious leader.
Those regular people could reach others BECAUSE they were regular people.
A simple message.
A simple method.
Let's offer compassion this week.
Let's do it.
With our voices.
With our actions.