Friday, May 22, 2009

Random Friday Thought - Compassion

Last weekend, Kelsey was sick. Really sick. She slept the better part of both days, moaned constantly, cried each time she had to move, and actually bit both Dave and I when we each tried to pick her up. The poor dog was feeling about as crummy as it gets.

Later, during a meditation, I thought back upon the moment that Kelsey bit me. It drew blood, was painful, and ended up getting infected (sheesh!). But at no point was I angry with her. It was this lack of anger that had me baffled. Why was I not angry?

It occurred to me and it was such a simple answer, really - because I knew why she did it; because I knew she was in pain and I therefore had compassion for her even as she lashed out at me. 

This, then, became the focus of my meditation throughout the entire week - that if we truly were able to understand why people do what they do, we would never experience anger, only compassion. In a world where we are so quick to judge, so quick to assume, so quick to react; perhaps if we could pause, imagine life in the other person's shoes, and show true compassion we could create a very different world...

Thanks for letting me be philosophical for the day. Have a great weekend everyone!

5 comments:

Glenda said...

Aw, your poor puppers :(. I trust she is feeling better now?

Yes, compassion is something there could stand to be more of in this world. Personally, I wish more parents would show compassion towards their children.

I tend to have compassion easily for pets and kids (not just my own), but it does still take conscious effort on my part to be that compassionate towards other adults. I wonder why that is.

ttammylynn said...

My sister had her baby last night after 10 sometime by ceasarian because the cord wrapped around the neck...Zack stayed with her through twelve hours of opening the cervix, plus 18 hours of labor, to no avail when it became apparant that the baby was in distress.
So, sometime after 10 pm last night, they took the baby by c-section because of necessity.
Now, they sent the placenta to be tested to see if there was need to induce in the first place. My initial opinion is that they jumped the gun on this.

Heather @ SGF said...

Glenda - Thanks for asking! Kelsey is definitely feeling better. She's back to her old tail-wagging self.

It's definitely easier to have compassion for animals (mine anyway). Harder for other humans, and yet the same rule applies. Perhaps because we don't suspect animals have ulterior motives, whereas with humans, we're far more cautious. I don't know. Maybe that's what I'll meditate on next week... :)

Tammy - Congratulations!

ttammylynn said...

As for compassion for adults, many times you do understand their point of view and can still be angry. A mild example of this is poor driving, it evokes an angry response at times(afterall, there are few excuses for endangering the lives of yourself or others--I mean unless you are going to the hospital perhaps). Adults should know better than to be inconsiderate and yet, things happen all of the time.
Another example might be the shoplifter who is stealing food for his family, if he were stealing staples such as rice and beans, you may feel compassion but if he is shoving ribeyes and T-bones into his pants, well, I tend to lack compassion for this(this actually happened at WalMart one day about ten years ago), both examples of illegal actions for a reason and yet, very different.

Heather @ SGF said...

Tammy - I think that to have compassion even for those who are stealing pricey items, we can think "what must that person have gone through in their life to make them feel like they have to steal? Or that it's appropriate to steal?" That always humbles me.