Sometimes we mistakenly think we have to do BIG things to prove we’re compassionate people. But we can show compassion in small, everyday things and still make a difference.
Here are 5 easy ways to practice compassion in our ordinary lives.
Receive others as they are, where they are, and what they have to give. A lady that frequents Manna House asked me last week if I liked to read (me? of course!), so she gave me this book she loved (isn’t the title appropriate?). Even though I’m not a big fiction reader, I couldn’t refuse her gift of kindness.
Accept the gifts others give; it shows you value the giver.
Sometimes we need help getting up for a challenge. My new friend was visibly sad; her dad died on January 3 and she was missing him terribly. He’d sexually abused her in the past, so in the midst of her grief was the burden of forgiveness she still wanted to extend. She needed to hear hope from someone else that with God all things are possible, and that it would get better.
Plant hope in someone else that spring will return again.
Take in good stuff, then pass it along to others. I’ve been reading from these giants of compassion lately. We can’t share all that we see and read, but we can filter the best of it to others.
Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Be a funnel; pour out what’s been poured into you.
Take care of someone or something. A child, a friend, a pet, a plant. It’s been colder than normal here in the South so we keep stuffing extra hay in Kandie’s house and trading in her ice bowl for one that’s liquid.
Spread love to all living things around you.
Your words count more than you know (offline and online). When you leave a comment on a blog that uses reCAPTCHA (I don’t, so I’m not fishing for comments here), you’re not only being compassionate to the blogger, but you’re also helping digitize a book. Luis von Ahn designed reCAPTCHA to use those letters you type as a method to authenticate words that computers can’t read, and thus digitize books. Over 10 million words a day, 2 ½ million books a year, one word at a time–you do something as a human that a computer still can’t do.
Listen to this TED talk to learn more about it.
Communicate compassion because you can; you still can do what computers cannot.
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How have you shown compassion this week? How has compassion been shown to you? Please share.
- My reading list January 2014
- “The Blue Castle”–Book review