Provocations #16 – A Year of Unconditional Compassion
Image from NPR story The Science of Compassion (The Hidden Brain, 20 October 2015).
Yesterday, the first of December, I saw a women and her children standing in a snowbank asking for help. Her sign said that her husband has been detained (presumably by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE). I found myself asking how could we, a nation of immigrants, reduce ourselves to breaking up families that are simply seeking a better life? Yes, I recognize that this is a complex issue, but in real human terms that is the essence of it.
On a Personal Level
As I thought about this family’s circumstances and all that is implied and implicated by it, I realized how often I have failed to show compassion. I thought about the people who work for ICE that must do the detaining. This must trouble their souls. I thought about the people who live in fear of strangers and those who are different. And even the simple and mundane things that frustrate me, such as the guy going 10 miles under the speed limit in the left lane.
I came to the conclusion the that only possible response is universal and unconditional compassion for all. So I am dedicating myself, beginning with that moment yesterday, to try to see and respond to all things through a filter of compassion.
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