Although my previous post on compassion discussed how to practice the habit, it only lightly touched on why. Tonight I want to start exploring why.
Be kind. Everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden. – Uncertain origins
and a related quote, from a book called Courtesy:
This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self.
Do you know the kinds of burdens that others carry? Do you recognize the burdens that you carry? Can you name your filters and judgments, the things that separate you from others and from experiencing the world?
To become acquainted with kindness one must be prepared to learn new things and feel new feelings. Kindness is more than a philosophy of the mind. It is a philosophy of the spirit. – Robert J. Furey
Through personal growth and emotional healing workshops, I’ve had the experience of listening to many people discuss their wounds, their struggles, and their shattered dreams. I’ve faced my own dark years, both alone and as a caregiver for another. It’s given me a quiet seriousness about the hard times in life. It has also given me perspective on the unseen lives of others I bump into throughout my days.
So what are the burdens people carry?