One year of compassion - well I’d like to say that I practiced what I preached….but I wish I were able to do more…
However isn’t that the case of most passionate individuals …the perfectionist that believes flawless is not enough, the great mom that believes she is not doing enough for her kids…and all the children of the world (lol), the organizer who needs to hone that skill a tad more.
I like to think if we are committed to take a stand, then perhaps sub-conscientiously, we passionately live and practice this belief---
I like to think that I am compassionate with everyone that comes my way – but I am not; I am kind, gentle and a human… I also can kill one with kindness, however, I will not befriend someone that does not want to be my friend, I don’t disrespect or offend, yet if, over and over again I feel inferior by anyone… I cannot do or feel anything anymore.
That is how we or I am wired … sometimes my kindness, my gumption and easy nature becomes a fault.
What does this have to do with a year of compassion…for me everything …?
I think I contributed two posts for 1000 Voices of Compassion so in the full spectrum of this movement I was on board for about five minutes –
But then again if I think about that statement, I think that I’ve been present for about five minutes always….why, because it’s easier to turn my face towards the wall….
“Here I stand head in hand turn my face toward the wall…”
Words by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Why do I say this? Because ethically I know better, because fear gets me every time and because I know in my heart that passion, beliefs, and the sheer tenacity to get the message out there is a powerful tool….
Whoa, read that again, it seems that passion, beliefs and tenacity gets the job done! However, at what cost, who’s passion, which beliefs, and what tenacious groups are the loudest? Moreover, if we are all screaming who is listening?
I want to stop this thought for now, and tell you all what I think has been happening to humanity for many years….
I think we have become desensitized- maybe it’s always been this way throughout history – maybe it’s getting worse. Every problem, every sad story, and every disgraceful and shocking event is there wide open for all to see. Which is not the issue, but what is the issue or what I want to explain is there isn’t any discretion, or privacy anymore; a respect.
We’ve seen it before and for moments, we feel a sort of euphoria of sadness (talk about your oxy-moron) think about this, for a moment in time we mourn, we pray, we hug tighter and express our sadness or disgust. We empathize, but what follow afterwards is our day to day monotonous daily tasks - we go back to our lives and just do what we need to do to get by each day.
Every single time I hear about a shooting… I am glued to the TV and become enamored by the news that comes to us via – broadcast, computer, phone, and radio…. We want to know more, give us more stories of the heroes, more stories of the lives this devastation affected… let us see the heartfelt stories of a 4 year old being told that it’s going to be okay…
Show all the gestures of kindness…. The flowers carpeting ground zero, everyone shedding tears hugging one another and lighting candles – we want to see more of this…please we beg you . We all share our thoughts and wittiness with our friends on social media … we show the world that we are human- we have a heart, and yet deep down inside we are relieved it’s not us….
What we don’t see is the aftermath – the post-traumatic disorder that is suffered…
I remember when I was a teenager, my sisters and I walked into our apartment in Queens , NY and learned that we were robbed, everything was ransacked - I was the oldest so I took over – called my mom at work to tell her …called the cops, and we sat waiting until someone came to us… I was not shocked and I was OK, but afterwards, my little sister could not come in the house or apartment building alone, and unless someone came in with her she would yell, sing, call out our names as she ran up the stairs - to get someone to meet her in the hall… and accompany her in our apartment….
That was a very simple aftermath and as she got older, it got better… so aftermaths are at any level…
I remember being so mad about the shooting in Colorado at the movie theater - this boy ordered the weapons and ammunition on line ----- what, are you kidding? - Then they were delivered to his home, huh I thought, no one questioned that – customer rep, the delivery personnel; no one thought to say something ….same goes for Sandy Hook hey if it’s about the right to bear arms let’s at least be reasonable and perhaps a bit honest that those shiny objects did not belong near that boy….
Let’s just be honest and accountable for once.
So I ask you all, who should be honest and accountable? Me? You? Do we…. do I have the nerve to question an act- see something not right and say something , this borders on paranoia and quite honestly I don’t want that label – so hindsight is 20/20 and judgement occurs - I’ve questioned and made many remarks of stories that affected us -
Truth is I don’t help, I avoid , I don’t offer, I shun and this act extends to my family, because of my family - I’ve expressed many times a distrust, a disconnect and maybe a banishment to anyone that I thought of as unstable – all to protect my loved ones, my people, my tribe, my family. Yet did I ever have a thought to extend a helping hand… maybe a fleeting thought once or twice.
Nevertheless, regardless of what or who it is we, or more like me, is afraid to get involved. How weird it is, we all know what we are all eating for dinner, the funny remark our kid made at dinner or that my car is in the shop…again; but we would not dare say or ask what can I do for you? Can I help? That goes for vice- a-versa too, do we ever say … I had some hard times can I ask you to….
We would not dare do that, so how can I say or expect our neighbors to keep an eye out on any strange activity in my neighborhood ….how do I expect every teacher to figure out which child is mostly likely to snap.
We don’t – we can’t, that world ended many years ago – you know which world I am talking about, the one that kept private things private, that allowed our children to stay as young as needed, that world had us playing outside for many hours, while all the parents on the block watched everyone ….
Perhaps it wasn’t like that at all, heck what do I know, I was a kid myself but I was kid that did not hear the term
I didn’t need to know that the word fire would form a crowd before the word help does - isn’t that something…
Our school drills were fire drills
You know this all sounds like “in the olden days it was so much better spiel” but I am not that naive - there was scandal, robberies, and terrorist acts, back then …. There was inflation and protests too; there were many violent acts towards children from community members that were so, so trusted….
Although if anything that was covered up in the past came out and shocked us, shamed us, it was not enough to stop there.
Look, if I was an other world traveler, flying through the galaxies and visited earth – I would not be able to look into the eyes of us knowing we did not stop any of the monsters throughout our history. How did the Nazi army live with themselves, how did so many members not question their actions- how is any genocide validated , accepted and allowed … fear ! - Fear to say, “Um excuse me but I think we just crossed the line.” -
Hey, if I feel that I do not have the right to tell a friend that I think they are ruining their life…because of XYZ how do we stand up and fight for compassion with conviction.
Because we don’t, a passionate, one-sided belief and its tenacious followers are called one thing, and only one thing, and that is, Isis, these terrorists are radicals, they have nothing to lose.
We on the other hand have everything to lose so we step back until the next time and only as a vicious circle does what it knows how to do, it spins, telling us once again about a devastating act – and we beg for more hugs and tears and heartfelt stories….
Every headline , every violent act that occurs, every single one that we hear about … my first thought is, this is the one that will make us change – this is the one that would shame the human race, but it doesn’t, after the streets are swept clean and the victims are put away we continue….
We just continue….
So is this movement a radical one, are we to instill one thing only, which is our belief of compassion….
I want to say something about me, at this point; I am jaded, afraid, and embarrassed… I think for me the violent acts in Paris were the last straw - lately my heart is broken, because friends and family members and friends of friends are inflicted with disease and hardships...
Maybe after so many years of watching horrid news come into my living room I am not desensitized anymore, but have become so sensitive to the point that I wait for the next time.
Our life can change so easily, so quickly with any decision we make….what I feel lately is that no one is immune, and that is such a terrible world to live in.
Having said all that, I said I still believe in us – I know we have the knowledge and opportunity to prevail, we just need to know how to spread the compassion gently…
We don’t need to look in a crowd and see evil, we need to recognize the good…a teacher should not have to distinguish the kid that would snap but give all the same opportunity to grow, flourish, and bring out every child’s true potential.
I know I mentioned that a passionate tenacious group spreading its beliefs can be seen as an evil force and to you it may all sound very similar, please understand that for me at this time it is all too familiar … we live in a world that has tainted the word belief, religion, and passion…
Therefore, for now I am simply saying that gently we can spread the word of compassion and I hope that we all get it soon.
This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better world with a focus on Celebrating A Year of Compassion.
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